S.O.S: Table Top Texting

Welcome to  Spotlight on Strategies Challenge!  Our S.O.S series  provides help, tips, and tricks for integrating DE media into your curriculum.

Table Top Texting
PDF Version

Background
According to a report by Pew Internet and American Life Project, “…texting ranks as the number one mode of communication among teenagers. Kids between the ages of 12 and 17 text a median of 60 times a day — up from 50 in 2009.”  It is important that educators find creative ways to utilize their preferred mode of communication.

Example

  • Distribute 1 piece of blank typing paper to each student and ask that they take out their pens, pencils, and/or markers.
  • Inform students that they will be watching a video about the deforestation of the Amazon and that approximately every minute you will pause to give them a moment to process, reflect, and respond to the content being presented.
  • Explain to students that each time you pause, they will be allowed 60 seconds to answer a question, make a statement, and ask a new question.  They will do this by pretending they are texting their neighbor.  They can draw conversation bubbles, use different colors of pens, or anything else that might add creative flair to their ‘texting thread’.
  • Play the video segment Deforestation of the Amazon.
  • Example
    • Pause at  0:43… allow students to write their text being certain to include a statement and a question.
      • Sample Student 1: People use the Amazon River to travel to their location.  It acts as a type of highway. Do you think the people of Peru like all the oil drilling?
    • Pause at 1:23.  Have students pass their text to the student to their left.  Students should respond to the question provided by their neighbor, make a new statement, and ask a new question.
      • Sample Student 2: I think that if the oil drilling allows them to have more jobs, they may like it.  They may be worried that people are using them for their land.  I was surprised to hear that several square miles of rainforest are cut down everyday and that they even burn the little trees instead of allowing them to grow back.  Do you think the people in Brazil realize the impact this could have on the environment?
    • Play through the end.  Have students either pass their text back to their right or continue passing the text to the left.  Students should respond to the question provided by their neighbor, make a new statement, and ask a new question.
      • Sample Student 3: I am not confident that the people of Brazil realize the deep environmental impact deforestation is making.  I think they are desperate for money and see that planting the crops in place of forest for food and cattle outweighs the bad. I was surprised that Brazil is one of the leading producers of soy and cattle.

Challenge

  • Select a video segment that matches your current curriculum.
  • Distribute 1 piece of blank typing paper to each student and ask that they take out their pens, pencils, and/or markers.
  • Inform students that they will be watching a video and that approximately every minute you will pause to give them a moment to process, reflect, and respond to the content being presented.
  • Explain to students that each time you pause, they will be allowed 60 seconds to answer a question, make a statement, and ask a new question.  They will do this by pretending they are texting their neighbor.  They can draw conversation bubbles, use different colors of pens, or anything else that might add creative flair to their ‘texting thread’.
  • Play video segment and pause approximately every 60 seconds.
  • At first pause, have students write a statement about something they learned and a question.
  • At second pause, have students pass their paper to the right. They now need to provide a response to the question, write a new statement, and ask a new question.
  • At third pause, either have students pass their paper back to the left or continue passing to the right.  Repeat process until the segment has ended.

Bonus

  • Turn this completed activity into a bulletin board and have students respond to text threads directly on the papers or by using sticky notes to continue the conversation
  • Check out the website TransL8it!, type a writing prompt for your topic of the day, translate it to text lingo, and post for your students to respond.

You can take the challenge by:

  • Implementing this strategy and letting us know how it went by posting a comment below.
  • Using this strategies in your grade level planning discussions and/or professional development and reporting your events. (Remember we consider an event anytime 3 or more educators gather together… doesn’t have to be in a computer lab… could be sitting around the lunch table)
  • Photocopying the flier and distributing it in your colleague’s boxes and/or posting it to your own BulleDEN board.

So see other strategies in this series click here.  For a link to all the PDFs in this series click here.

Comments

    • Jannita

      That’s fabulous! Thanks for sharing!

  1. Mattie Perry

    I like the activity involving movement. I can envision students being in small groups of four – five. Give each student a number and each time the instructor pause the video. Give a few minutes to have the students to write on the paper their response. Call a number of a student from the group to rotate to another group.

    • Jannita

      Thanks for your thoughts Mattie! I agree! If you do this with your students, would you mind taking some pics and sending me a little paragraph or two about the experience… possibly some student samples? I’d love to feature it :) Jannita_Demian@discovery.com

  2. Edith Atkinson

    I think the students will love “learning how to tweet”. I welcome the idea of merging traditional practices with new technological advances.

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