Monday, February 05, 2007

Like Frankenstein's monster, the wiki is coming to life

Now we're about a week into the Literature Circles wiki project, and, although things have gotten off to a slow start, today was my first glimpse at the potential impact of what we're doing. Last week, students had to post on their group's wiki page a response related to an ongoing theme in one of the books - Frankenstein, Black Boy and The Color of Water. For the most part, the responses were very similar to what we were doing on the class blog in a previous unit.

By tomorrow, they are assigned to post a response on another group's wiki page, which means on the page of a group not in their class period. Here's a glimpse of what I'm seeing tonight as I monitor it all on Bloglines, waiting for 24 to start.

Verbatim from the page of one group reading Frankenstein:
"Through reading Dominiques response to what she feels is an appropiate theme so far to the book, I can relate to the ideas she is getting. I also feel as if Dr. Franenstien is too consumed in his to relate to the outside world. He spends so much time in the solittude of his "passion", that he seperates from the simple pleasures that he once enjoyed. Dom did a great job of including the actual text from the book as well as an explanation of hgow she feels it relates to what she is trying to say."

Verbatim from the page of a group reading The Color of Water:
"Your right Richard does believe almost any thing anybody says and most of the time he reacts to it, but i think that is some what not his fault just because of his brutal life style. Also I think thats crazy that he is an acholic and he's sooo young , WOW i can't wait to read the rest of the book ;)"

Verbatim from the page of a group reading Black Boy:
"I agree with Garrett. I think that the theme is about Richard not understanding racism, regardless that they are in the 1900's and racism still occurs. I disagree Garrett that the theme is also family. Yes, family has alot to do with it but, I don’t think that’s what the book is trying to say. It’s about a boy who doesn’t know what’s right from wrong. If I had to pick a second theme it would be money and hunger. Richard in my view doesn’t care much about his family. He wants to live on his own. Hunger and money are big factors because that’s what you need to have in order to survive. I think he would be better of living on his own because he’s not learning anything by getting beaten by his family for everything he does wrong. He would just do it again, just to to get caught this time."

There's still a long way to go. Some kids are still not following through with their homework assignments. Some kids are still struggling to convert ideas into words. Some kids are still apprehensive about it all.

I was too.

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