July 20

Hyperdocs can immerse students into curriculum

Are you looking for a way to get students immersed into curriculum and searching for knowledge right from the start of the year?  Why not try creating a Hyperdoc as a way of orienting students and helping them become more familiar with your online resources?

This would be a great way to guide students through accessing the online textbook, joining your Google Classroom, exploring go-to resources, and learning about your expectations for the school year.  A hyperdoc can get your students thinking and shift you from being a lecturer, a talking head, a sage-on-the-stage in your classroom.  Instead, students can dig deeper, use discovery techniques, and learn with an online guided tour.

Lisa Highfill and her crew have assembled examples and shared them and are even developing a sharing site for hyperdoc lessons.  As any self-respecting teacher will do, I cruised through several of Highfill’s examples earlier this summer and borrowed and adapted some of her ideas.  I especially liked the idea shared called #PlaceProject and decided to steal borrow and adapt it to use with a group of ELA teachers.  Highfill’s A Perspective of Place hyperdoc reminded me of a practice I used years ago with my 8th grade students.  Specifically, this map served as inspiration for me.

To get students immersed in the practice of writing, I shared the neighborhood map and a selection of stories from Ralph Fletcher’s Marshfield Dreams.  Years ago, I modeled and expected students to hand-draw a simple map of their neighborhood and mark specific points on the map where there were stories to tell.  For this workshop, I used a Google Map of our family farm where I grew up and shared the same concept by showing points where I had stories to tell.  I included a little blurb about each point and asked students to create a similar map of their neighborhood.  I asked students to choose the first story I wrote.  Students shared their maps with a partner and the partner chose their first writing piece.  This concept worked well for several reasons.

  1. Students had a graphic organizer to use in preparing their writing topics.
  2. Students had a built-in, authentic audience in their partner who was eager to read their first piece.
  3. Students knew more about their topics than anybody else because these were their stories.
  4. There were topics ready for future student writing focus.
  5. The topics generally grew as students shared their ideas with one another and were inspired.
  6. The writing pieces gave us student-generated work to use in revision, editing, and mini-lesson practice.

In this instance, I used a Google Map as my hyperdoc to guide our lesson and could have used a Padlet or asked students to post links of their own maps into a Google Classroom for sharing.  In this case, I was introducing students to skills relating to the use of maps, Google Maps, and writing.  Real-world skills that reach beyond their school careers are always important as we are teaching students the fundamentals of literacy and communication.

Create a hyperdoc to guide your students’ learning during the early days of the school year!