Someone, somewhere, once said that necessity is the mother of invention. That is an adage we had to lean into – hard – in 2020. It was a year that challenged us in so many ways as we desperately tried to transfer what we know about good teaching from the classroom to the screen. One way I did that was with one-sliders for analyzing text – something that I’ll be using with every class from now on because they worked so well.
I do a lot of collaboration and visible learning but when my students were online last spring – and again this December – I wanted to recreate these experiences as much as I could. Turns out my kids loved them so much that I’ll be using them in the classroom too!
One-Sliders are an engaging activity for learning
This December we were suddenly sent back home when I had just started Animal Farm (we had been in school since September). It was the last few weeks before the holidays, and I knew my kids would need something pretty engaging to keep them working, so I created some one-sliders for them to use to illustrate their learning.
Students worked in groups to create one slide that represented the important elements of an assigned chapter. They had to use a combination of text, quotations, and images to illustrate the significant aspects of their section.
I gave students a sample slide for Chapter One as an exemplar, and templates they could use as a guide. The end result made me a believer in this strategy because the slides were accurate, beautifully done, and my students all agreed that they had fun creating them.
One-Sliders for Any Text
I loved the One-Slider for Animal Farm so much that I got busy creating ones that could be used for analyzing any text, so I can use them with my Reading Workshop next semester. They started as a solution for remote learning, but these will be a keeper from now on.
That’s because my first experience with them showed me that they are an engaging and effective way for students to do literary analysis. The final product is quite different than a written assignment, but the critical thinking involved to create one is the same.
These one sliders are also a great way for creative and/or visual learners to express their understanding of a text. That doesn’t mean that students who don’t feel they are creative can’t be successful. In fact, the exemplars and templates can help them create a slide they are proud of too.
Overall one-sliders are fun for the students to create and therefore something that they may be more excited about doing from home. And don’t forget that there is a bonus for you too, because they offer a nice change from reading and grading essays!
Check Out my One-Sliders:
If you’d like to try one-sliders for analyzing text with your students, I have them ready to go for you. Each is complete with examples, instructions, templates, and assessment checklists.
If you want other engaging activities that you can use with your students online, I can help. Click here and I’ll send you 5 Days of Distance Learning Freebies, right to your inbox. Or click here for the in class version.