“Go back into the text” are words my students often hear. I want them to find evidence for their ideas, position, or answers. Most of the time, they grudgingly comply … until, one day they were finding evidence that would turn into the dialogue their Voki would say. All of a sudden, the students were combing through the text to find specific dialogue that would give insight into the character their Voki represented or something their character said about another. This is part of a unit on fiction and how to analyze character development.
Vokis provide great opportunities to explore characterization. There are some ways that the physical appearance of the Voki can be shaped as well as choices for the background scene. Most important, from my point of view, is that you can choose what your Voki will say and actually record the voice. The voice aspect of creating the Voki is the part that caused my students to enthusiastically return to the text to find good dialogue. Recording the voice themselves provided fluency practice as well as showing how voice intonation can help communicate information about a character or situation.
I would love it if Voki provided more opportunities to create the physical appearance of the character and even allow two Voki’s to speak to each other. With this in mind, I was excited to see that Voki has just launched Voki for Education. Voki for Education has a Teacher’s Corner for sharing ideas and Lesson Plans. I love it when sites respond to the needs of educators. I look forward to visiting their website and gaining inspiration and more ideas from wonderful educators across the country and world.