paperless plot charts

I’d love to have a more exciting title for this, but I’m pretty excited about what I’ve been able to do with plot charts and google apps.

Each of my tenth graders is currently keeping track of the action in The Scarlet Letter using a google spreadsheet. Each student created a spreadsheet with the column headings: Chapter, Summary, Representative Quote, and type of plot action.

What’s really awesome about this type of assignment is that it really allows students to meet the text where they are, and allows me to join each of them there.

Each student’s google spreadsheet is shared with me, and so I can monitor their progress… see when/if they are working outside of class and give them just-in-time feedback. Because of this feedback, it’s a living assignment. Students can correct their work as they go based on my feedback.

I give feedback in class during days with our in-school computers using the chat function within the actual document. They really get a kick out of being able to talk with me that way – and it gives some privacy to what otherwise may have been deemed “stupid questions.”

Feedback from students is positive as well. They like the self-directed aspect of it – that they can go at their own pace (within reason) and more than a couple have remarked that it’s a really good way to keep track of a book.

And, of course, the whole process is paperless. No printing, saving, emailing or keeping a notebook that gets left at home or lost in study hall.

Scarlet Letter Plot Chart Example

A student's Scarlet Letter Plot Chart in Google spreadsheet.

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