Lesson Spotlight: Digital Literacy with Fairy Tales

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Digital Literacy Unit Fairy Tales

"If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales.” ~ Albert Einstein

Do your students enjoy listening to fairy tales? Do they enjoy trying to interpret the meaning behind fairy tales? This lesson has 10 fairy tales where students can choose at least 3 to visually represent in collages to increase their understanding of the story. By locating images to visually complement the fairy tale, they will retain more of the information and the general idea of the story. They will be able to look at their collages at a later time and recall what the story was about.

Students can do a variety of different types of lessons with the collages. If the teacher wants to use this same template for other classes, they can have students gather facts from an article, a book, a lecture, a video or audio. Once they get enough keyword concepts, they can put together a visual collage. Here is a slide with examples of different subjects based on online content. Some topics could include inventions, historical events, geography, art history, current events, endangered animals, etc.

I remember students telling me about a teacher that spent most class time lecturing. During that time they would take notes. They would often complain how boring the class was and how they would bring up topics unrelated to the subject to get the teacher off task. Instead of just lecturing the entire class period, the teacher could have students take notes for roughly 10 minutes. Once they have information, they can dive deeper into the topic to get more key concepts. Once they have exhausted the topic, they can visually represent the ideas in a collage. Students can share their work with classmates and a conversation can continue on the topic. Students might be confused by image choices and they can have a healthy class discussion.

According to ThoughtCo, “Lectures are teacher-centered. They do not bring students into the conversation to ask questions, debate ideas, or share valuable personal experiences. Lectures are built on a teacher's agenda only with almost no student inquiry or contribution. In addition, a teacher has no way of telling whether students are learning.” Let’s face it, teachers do need to talk to their students, but the duration of the lecture and the strategies used to help students retain that information need to be considered if we want to maximize learning and understanding.

The strategy of using collages is to get students thinking about locating the best images to complement the ideas. This can lead to further critical thinking. The images will help them recall information. According to an article by Johns Hopkins University, “ Instructors have reported that their use of images in the classroom has led to increased student interactivity and discussion. Teaching with images can also help develop students’ visual literacy skills, which contributes to their overall critical thinking skills and lifelong learning.”

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