Mar 29, 2011

A Picture's Worth a Thousand Words...

... or so they say.
After I wrote the lesson proposal that was due Sunday I got to thinking.  I decided that I was going to to "transform" a lesson/unit using a page like the one I made for the technology implementation project.  Only for this project, the page would be centered on one text, The Scarlet Letter, and focus on symbols, as opposed to all aspects.  Granted, symbols pretty much consume the core of the novel, its characters & setting included.  However, the readings for this module, as always, discussed the motivation factor & that students like using technology & computers, but a light bulb went off when reading the power-point on Flickr.  So, for this blog, I am going to write this in one tab & actually explore Flickr in the other, simultaneously.
To begin, I types on in the search engine. Easy.  Then the home page came up, obviously.  I just typed in "The Scarlet Letter" in the SEARCH box under "Share Your Photos. Watch the World".    Good stuff.  Then, I wrote in Hester Prynne. More good stuff.
On to the next step. I just clicked the "Create an Account" tab. So, I did.  Asked for my yahoo email, I use Google, so I clicked the Google tab.  If my students were to be using an online class page, my permission slips would ask the parents for permission granting them to make "school" email addresses through Google, because I like Googledocs for editing papers.  So, technically students who have those Google email addresses can create an account here effortlessly.
Now, I am a part of this site.  I can find my friends on Facebook, which I will not encourage.  However, students can upload photos here.  They can also find their friends on Flickr, which is fine as long as they are finding their classmates.  They can work together on projects or posts that require group work with pictures.  Once you find photos on here, you can click the "Organize & Create" tab and the students can rearrange the photos any way they want. Perhaps, students can set them up by chapter or character.  This will help many students with possible learning disabilities that are unintentionally disorganized. 
So, the whole point of taking you through that tutorial... was actually for me.  Thank you ha!  But really, after consideration, I think that the unit plan should definitely be incorporated online through a class site, since the novel may seem scary and dare I even suggest outdated.  The Internet will liven it up & make the timeless pieces of it relevant in the 21st century.  I like the idea of making each symbol, character, or important story element pretty as the pictures in which the students will find.

Just to give an example of something I may be looking for when I start creating a unit.
There is one point where the letter A is shaped out of seaweed & little Pearl puts its on her chest.  I may want the students to think about the significance of Pearl- her relationship to the letter A, her age, the actual seaweed, & what the color or texture may show.
So, briefly to analyze.  The color green symbolizes youth & things that are new.  Seaweed is a natural substance, as opposed to the felt A her mother wears. She is young & "green" herself.  The texture is slimy. It feels gross. It makes her have to wash her hands. Her mother feels that way when she wears the letter A on her chest.

The students can type in whatever keyword they think will grant them the best picture.  I simply typed in seaweed.  They can be liberal though & even type in green or Pearl.  The image has to be explained, but as long as the students can make a connection between text & image, then they will learn.


  1. Hi, Daina!

    I love the setup of your blog and this post is really great. I remember learning about The Scarlet Letter and being SO BORED all the time with it. Your idea to use Flickr is both creative and artistic in nature. I would have absolutely loved to be in your class and do this. Just from you explaining in a couple of short paragraphs the significance between Hester and Pearl's letters made more sense to me than anything my teacher ever said. I think allowing the students to find their own representations and justify them really encourages them to utilize the artistic sides of their brains, which is far too under-used. Kudos on your use of Flickr for such a...dare I say as well....boring and outdated book! You would probably agree with me that Richardson's book really is full of awesome ideas, right??

    Keep up with the great ideas!


  2. Hi Daina,

    What a great way to have students connect to The Scarlet Letter. It is sometimes hard, as Amy said, to help students to connect to older works of literature. I think, however, when you can use a form of technology that they can relate to, and one which helps to bring the book to life for them, they can get into it a lot more. I have heard many teachers say that students won't read older works of literature, but students can make more connections when you use venues that are familiar and interesting to them.