Recently, I consulted with a team of third grade teachers at my school to develop a topic for students to write about once they had researched animals. We decided that students could provide an opinion and supporting reasons as to why the animal that they researched should or should not be kept in a zoo. Students would use the facts that they had gathered to inform their writing. Once they had completed their writing, I visited their classrooms and introduced them to a tech tool known as Flipgrid. I made a free teacher account and set up an assignment where students would record themselves reading aloud their writing on their Chromebooks.
Students enthusiastically participated and self assessed their videos. They enjoyed watching the videos that their peers had created too! I disabled their ability in Flipgrid to type a comment about the videos until a future assignment. We discussed the importance of stating respectful comments to others verbally to practice the skills of a digital citizen. I shared an Emoji Reflection Guide which they used to self assess. In the future, I plan to enable their ability to give Emoji reactions in Flipgrid.
Overall, using Flipgrid engaged my third grade students and gave every student a voice! One student who is rather shy chose to record her video in an area away from others. I told her that shy students can record their video and share it without having to stand and deliver the message in front of others. She seemed relieved to be able to record her words without any pressure.
Many students felt like “You Tubers” and loved this experience. They see videos on social media which provide entertainment and information at home. Using Flipgrid to respond to a topic that they had researched allowed incredible opportunities to communicate, listen and be heard!
I have included images from this lesson below and a link to the actual Flipgrid where over 100 of my third graders shared their opinions and supporting reasons as to why animals should or should not be kept in a zoo.