How Sesame Street and WriteReader are Empowering Students

How Sesame Street and WriteReader are Empowering Students

By Josefine Rosenkvist and Rabia Iqbal

The beloved characters from Sesame Street engage and motivate students. In a second grade class at Copenhagen International School, WriteReader has been used for students to become proud authors and publishers.

This spring, we were introduced to the web based writing tool app.writereader.com at our school. Right away we fell in love with the product’s intuitive and meaningful approach to early writing, and we decided to accomplish the lesson plan about ’Friendship and Empathy’ based on Sesame Street images.

Introduction and Organization

To make sure that all students knew the main Sesame Street characters and their names, we made a simple worksheet and let the students share some personal experiences with the TV show.
introduction

We let the students decide whether they would write alone or with a partner. Around half of the students chose a partner. We repeated how to build up a story (beginning- middle – end), made a short introduction to the webapp and we were ’good to go.’

Writing Phase

Based on the 20 Sesame Street images from the WriteReader image bank, the students wrote in just two lessons 13 books, which included 6 to 13 pages. After we finished the text, most of the students used the audio recording functionality, and recorded their stories – page by page. Finally we ’translated’ the students writing into conventional writing, to give them opportunity to compare and to learn about spelling, punctuation and syntax.
sesame street book

Turning Students into Real Authors

To make the students real authors, we published the students to WriteReader library, which makes it possible for other students around the world to read the books online. We published the book on May 1st and now a month and a half later one of the books has already been read/viewed more the 650 times.
kids library

Additionally, we decided to print the book to sell them at our schools early market day. For printing we used the apps integrated print solution, that automatically turns the students book into small booklets by printing on both sides, bending and stapling them.

Market day

Conclusions

The text above probably speaks for itself, but finally we would like to add a few positive experiences. First of all we were surprised by, how quickly the students became familiar with the app and managed to navigate and write their own stories. Besides that we saw, that the students were so busy writing that they were hard to stop, when the lesson was over. The Sesame Street images probably played an important role in that, and one of our students Maya Kevo Baker expressed it this way: ’It’s very fun, because I like to write on the computer and when I was younger, my favourite show was Sesame Street – and I’m writing about it right now.’

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