Over the past few years, I have been supplementing thetraditional textbook I use in my introductory education/specialeducation course with a variety of inclusion literature. Inclusionliterature offers to preservice teachers another perspective fromwhich to view disabilities as well as providing them with exposureto instructional resources that they may someday use in their ownclassrooms to promote tolerance. For example, part of oneassignment where students develop an awareness activity to promotetolerance of a specific disability also requires students to locatea children's literature selection dealing with that specificdisability. Students develop applications for using the children'sliterature in the classroom, share those with the class during apresentation, and read the book aloud to the class. Students alsoself-select a novel from my collection during a book pass andcomplete an alternative book report to reflect upon the novel. Thevariety of books I have been able to collect allows students tochoose the type of book they most enjoy reading (autobiography,fiction, or nonfiction), one that is best suited to their readingability, and one that is closest to their teaching major or area ofgreatest interest. Thus, students majoring in education of the deafcan select a book about hearing impairments while a regulareducation major might select a book written by a teacher. Studentathletes often select the novels about athletes who acquirephysical disabilities while participating in sports, and studentswith children of their own often choose one of the books writtenfrom a parental perspective. I have yet to have students who wereunable to find a book that they did not enjoy reading. Students arealso encouraged to switch their novel selection if, after beginningthe novel, they find that it is not what they expected. As aculminating activity, in literature circles, students share theiralternative book reports and discuss how the different novelstreated similar issues and also consider how the perspective fromwhich the book was written - parent, teacher, etc. - made adifference. I also incorporate teacher read-alouds from booksrelating to course topics being covered.
Lots of you were interested in the fake Facebook I made on Dr. Seuss. I did a little research and found several templates to create these “fakebooks.”1. 2. : It is necessary to create an account for this website, so it might not be ideal for students. Otherwise, the “fake walls” look awesome!3. : This is probably the most practical outlet for this assignment since most schools and students have Word. 4. 5. : This is excellant for presentation of the accounts.These can be used as alternative book reports, presentations on scientists, historians, and more.
Literature Responses & Alternative Book Reports
Shelfari is not only a great alternative to book reports, it is also a nice alternative to reading logs. Shelfari allows students to display books that they have read on a virtual bookshelf. This site enables students to connect with other students and teachers, sharing book recommendations and reading reviews. Shelfari provides the ability to create online book clubs and discussions. Inspire students with similar interests to start a book club where they read and discuss together. When students finish reading a book they can add it to their bookshelf, rate the book, and write a short review of the book for others to read. The collaborative component makes it easy to keep up with what students are reading and to measure understanding. It also allows teachers to recommend books to students based on what they are currently reading. This is a great way to keep your students engaged in their reading and ensures they will always have great suggestions for new books to keep them reading.