This post comes from the wall outside Karen’ Doughty’s 8th grade English class. Her students are reading and discussing Dicken’s A Christmas Carol– a well known story but one that doesn’t always find its way into students’ lists of favorite reads.
Karen’s found a way around that by using Twitter- well, almost. Because her students aren’t old enough to have twitter accounts, she used a twitter simulator to give her students the “feel” of Twitter without the need to create an account.
Students chose characters from the book and wrote tweets from the characters viewpoint based on what was going on in each of the chapters. They conveyed meaning not just by the text of the tweet, but also in the way they connected the tweets to other characters and their use of hashtags. Many also showed a sense of humor as shown in this sample tweet.
No logins were needed and no identities were compromised, making this a workflow friendly project! Karen sent her kids a link to FakeTweetBuilder, a site that allows students to create entire twitter conversations. Directions for using FakeTweetBuilder can be found here. This video shows how to keep them online- you can also download them and print them so they can be displayed in the hallway as Karen did.
Students can also use Simitator to create individual tweets. Simitator is a little simpler to use- it gives students spaces to fill it so they see the tweet build in front of them. It can also be downloaded and printed or put into presentation or website. Like FakeTweetBuilder, Simitator does not require students to make an account.