Friday, February 27, 2009

See Jane Read...See Johnny Write

In the article, "See Jane Read...See Johnny Write," Lynn Howell demonstrates an excellent activity for both high school students and younger grades. Ms. Howell had her high school students create children's stories by partnering up with a younger student. She arranged her classroom to correspond with her sister's second grade classroom.
Ms. Howell begins explaining how she used to do this project before the use of computers and technology. She would have her students write letters to the other younger students who lived in a different state. The high school students would ask personal information about their partners in second grade and then would use that information to create a book about them. In the end, the high school student would send their book to the second grader to keep.
After awhile, Ms. Howell decided to incorporate technology into the assignment. Rather than send letters back and forth to each other which took a long time, the students corresponded via e-mail. Furthermore, rather than hand write the book and personally create illustrations to go along with the story, Ms. Howell had her students use powerpoint to create their stories. In result, they were able to send copies of their finished stories to the second graders while still being able to hold onto a copy for themselves. Ms. Howell discovered that through the means of technology, she was able to enhance her assignment.

1. How long does this assignment take? This assignment should take about three weeks due to technology.

2. Would the second graders ever be able to participate more? Yes, if the teachers allowed the second graders to send their own drawings to be part of the book.


  1. I really like this idea of pairing second graders with high schoolers. When I was younger and in elementary school, I really enjoyed having an older advocate and then flipped around and I was the advocate. With the use of technology, this project can run more smoothly and in a more time efficient manner. The book will look more professional and polished with the use of technology and computers. It also allows for more copies to be made by simply with a click of a button. Hand drawings are more timely and require more effort and work. You can still keep the creativity by printing the books and allowing the second graders to draw on each page. Too bad we couldn't see a visual of how one the books turne out! Great article!

  2. that is a great activity. having older students interact with younger students is great. it also makes the older students realize what younger students are into. the only thing is that as a teacher you have to know another teacher that is willing to do this kind of project. but this is something that i would love to do in a classroom. it combines the best part of both worlds. i hope that i could do something like this in a classroom.

  3. I love the idea of younger students partnering with older students. I feel this benefits both groups of students. The younger ones get someone to look up to and come to for help. The older one get to mentor a younger child and lead by example - which can be a powerful thing for some students. However this project sounds like it could take some serious time and cordination between teachers - but overall I think it would be worth it for both groups of students. Love this idea - might just have to steal this one...