My latest inspiration came from the Kleinspiration blog, which gives a great idea on using Instagram as a tool to explore characterization.
(Image credit: http://www.kleinspiration.com/2013/01/if-our-characters-had-instagram-new.html)
What I love most about this project is that it was inspired by the students' real life activities. The teacher, Erin Klein, noticed that a lot of students received iPad minis for Christmas, and that many of them were using Instagram to document their lives. How could she take this information and use it in the classroom?
She talked about Instagram and asked the kids what it would be like if the characters that they had read about in a novel had Instagram accounts. What kind of pictures would they post? This got the kids engaged in a characterization activity- much more interesting than doing a plain old character sketch. Erin Klein of the Kleinspiration blog has kindly shared free printables for this project at http://www.kleinspiration.com/2013/01/if-our-characters-had-instagram-new.html.
Food for thought... How do you integrate "real life" activities into your classroom? I used to do a similar characterization activity using Facebook, but it seems that Facebook isn't as popular with kids anymore. How important is it for teachers to keep up with what's "cool"?