Children's Storybooks - CTSO Simulation
This is a project designed for the College and Career Awareness course in order to help students to participate in a simulated CTSO event. It is based on the Technology Student Association (TSA) Middle School Competition called "Children's Stories." In groups, they will be creating an illustrated book that teaches children about technology. While this has been designed as a 3 day project, there is a lot of flexibility depending on schedules and if you want to give additional time outside of class for them to work on it or more time in class.
This is a project plan that will simulate a Technology Student Association event where students will be creating an illustrated children's book that teaches the reader about technology (however, what your students teach their readers could be very easily adapted to fit your needs). It is designed as a group project for 4 students, but could be modified to fit different needs.
- 3-5 day time frame, but could be more or less depending on class length, openness to homework, which elements you would like to include or excluse, etc.
- For a 3-day time period, you would not include a literature review day or a presentation day.
- Designed with in-person, face-to-face instruction in mind, though it could be adapted to use digital creation tools instead of paper.
Thumbnail for this resource obtained from pngegg.com.
Background for Teachers
To teach this lesson, you really only need to know about the topic that you are having your students teach their readers about (originally designed as technology, but could be adapted to your needs). However, having creative ideas about how to create a book out of construction paper, children's literature, and tools that help student collaborate would be helpful.
Step 1 - Goals and Outcomes
Learning intentions: Students will be able to create a storybook to teach 1st to 3rd graders about technology (or whatever you choose to adapt this lesson to) while simulating a CTSO event.
Success Criteria: Students will work as a group to create a storybook that defines technology, includes 5 specific examples of technologies familiar to most children, and incorporates at least 7 illustrations. The book should be well organized, neat, and interesting to readers. (Criteria can be modified to fit what you are having students create their storybooks on.)
Course: College and Career Awareness
Strand 3: Students will explore a variety of Career and Technical Student Organizations (CTSOs) and the benefits of CTSO membership.
Standard 3: Students will participate in a simulated CTSO category event (TSA).
Step 2 - Planning Instruction
Prior to this lesson, students will need to have an understanding of what technology is and have an idea of how to determine if something is technology or not.
In order to assist diverse learners, some suggestions including intentional grouping to pair students with different strengths and to aid those that might struggle in other areas. Also, considering allowing the book to be presented in different languages if you have many students that are more comfortable in other languages.
Construction paper (it is suggested to have multiple sizes available in order to help with binding books together or to allow additional creativity)
Printer or copier paper
Colored pencils, crayons, or markers
Rulers (compasses, angles, etc. can also be helpful)
Staplers (long-armed book binding ones are great, but regular staplers will do)
Glue or glue sticks
Examples of Children's Storybooks (optional depending on time available)
Step 3 - Instruction
Day 1 (Optional for a 4-5 day plan):
Begin class by reading a 1-3 grade storybook to the class. Either before or after reading the book to the class, point out the various things that you do when readin ga book to a group that makes it more interesting and engaging. Make sure to include things like eye contact, vocal interest, tone variation, physically showing the pictures to the audience, and anything else you think that they need to know.
After the presentation of the book, explain the assignment that they will be doing (creating a storybook about technology for 1-3 graders). Let them know that one person from their group will be doing exactly what you just did with this book for your class but with their own story.
Give them some time to look at the various books that they have. You can either split them into groups at this point and have them review books together, making a point to talk about things that they like and don't like about various examples, or you can have them do this without their groups and take notes to discuss with their groups when they get in them.
Day 2 (Day 1 if skipping Literature Review):
Groups of students will be producing a children’s story book that defines technology in a way that their target audience will understand, gives at least 5 specific examples of technologies that children will be familiar with, and has at least 7 illustrations. The target audience would be 1st to 3rd grade children. No printed materials will be allowed, meaning all art and writing must be done by hand.
***(If you are confident that your students have some technical ability or have more time available to you, you can allow or even require that the books be digital. Typical 7th graders do not have the skills to do digital artwork quickly, but they believe that it will be faster to do it digitally despite this. It just is usually not the case.)
Students are split into groups of 4 and decide who will fulfill each of the following roles: Project Director, Editor, Art Director, and Lead Illustrator. Different responsibilities are assigned to each person, though it is made known that everyone should help when certain tasks are lagging behind the others.
For Day 2, groups should at least accomplish a storyboard, which I give them an example of. It should show a basic version of what will be contained on each page, including the technology highlighted on that page, if any. This will give them an idea of what each page will look like and act as a sort of guide or checklist as they move forward. If they complete this, they can move on to the actual creation of art and writing.
Day 3 (Day 2 if skipping Literature Review):
Day 3 is a work day. Students are able to get into their groups right away and begin working on their books. The goal of day 3 is to get the writing and outlines or art done so that detail work can begin.
Day 4 (Day 3 if skipping Literature Review):
This is the final day in class to complete their work. If groups need more time, the deadline can be extended for approximately one additional week, but no further class time will be given. The goal for this day is for the groups to assemble their pages and be able to have a completed book to turn in.
Day 5 (or can be split into small chunks of more future classes):
To begin future classes, the Project Director for each group presents their book to the class. Generally, we do one to two of these presentations each day until we get through all of the books that were completed by the class. This generally takes about 5 minutes, but can take up to 10, per day. With an average of 7 classes, this can be done in a week or two pretty easily.
However, you could take a 5th day and get all of the presentations done at once. This can be a fun culmination of their work. One draw back is that it can cause groups that are running behind to give up if they do not finish by the presentation day. Drawing it out over a week or two gives some flexibility in allowing groups to finish a bit later.
Step 4 - Assessments
Formative assessment during this project is largely done through circulating through the classroom and providing input where necessary. Most assessment will be done on the rubric for the groups final product.