Each year students leave with their summer reading lists and are expected to do a report or summary type project upon their return to school. Why not give them the option to create a book summary in Photo Story or create a Glog.
Students love to be creative and given the opportunity to express themselves. PhotoStory is a free download by Microsoft (PhotoStory 3) and is so simple to use. Once the program is downloaded you simply upload your photos (there are tutorials and guides built in). You can add transitions and record audio as well as add background music. The finished project looks just like a professional movie. It took five minutes to show a few high school students how the program worked and they created these fabulous pictures depicting a story they had read in class. The students loved the experience and were completely engaged. I am so excited to integrate this tool into another type of class assignment. Perhaps a documentary for a history class? Hmmm….
Another cool way to let students share their summer projects is to create Glogs. Glogster is becoming very popular and is very intuitive to use. With the possibility of uploading videos, photos, creating text, and adding clipart, students can create a unique presentation that can meet the criteria of a book report but with more individuality. If you open a Glogster account under their EDU (education) section you can create class accounts for free. Granted there are some limitations to the free accounts, but they still offer a wide variety of options for student use.
So perhaps while you have a chance to contemplate and plan your school year this summer, you may want to check these out and see if you could find a way to integrate one of them into your classroom.