Dioramas help with visualization of novel

Posted: February 3, 2016 in Academics, Language arts, Project-based Learning

By Stella deVargas
Cougar News Blog

     Cactus Canyon Junior High students in Tammy Howard’s third-hour class are making dioramas using individual creativity to help them visualize and better understand their project.
     Mrs. Howard’s eighth-grade students in advanced language arts are recreating scenes from the book All Fall Down by Alli Carter. Ms. Howard hopes the project will stimulate long-term learning and get students engaged in higher-level thinking..
     “I hope my students are being challenged as well as learning to think critically and take pride in doing well,” says Mrs. Howard.
     This project will help students focus on central idea of text and how it is developed. Students will learn how dialogue and incidents in a story influence plot, characters and character decisions. It will help students show strong evidence to support understanding of text.
     “I learned that books were way more entertaining when you have something to visualize it better and this project certainly did that,” said Jaden Erchen, eighth grader.
     Mrs. Howard planned to read the book as a class and have students do their projects as individual assignments. Students can choose their own scene from the book and will have two weeks to complete it. Howard hopes students can connect and become part of the story.
     “This project helped me get more into what I was reading and it helped me visualize the text a lot better than just reading,” says Erchen.
     This project is so students can connect to their favorite part, visualize and create a scene and share it with others. This project is a way to think and recreate the story. Howard hopes to do the project again.
     “I hope these projects become visual aids for students and pique the interest of those who have not read the book,” says Howard.

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