Lesson 3.4: Wikis
- To determine the features and purposes of wikis.
- To identify ways of using wikis in the classroom.
Activate Prior Knowledge
Below are some links to real fan wikis. Spend some time exploring the wikis, then reflect on these questions:
- What is the purpose of a wiki?
- How do wikis establish community around a topic?
- What wikis can you imagine your students creating based on their passions?
- If your students write information texts and literary analysis, could they create a collaborative wiki about a book, TV series, video game, movie, or something else they are interested in?
Safety is always an important consideration when using internet platforms for digital creation. Students could easily create a wiki using Google Sites. Common Sense Media is a great place to find reviews of Ed Tech tools.
Read this article to learn about how to use wikis in your classroom: https://educationaltechnology.net/wikis-in-education/
Wikis provide opportunities for students to work on highly-engaging writing in the genres of narrative, information, and argument. Students will happily write and write about topics, shows, movies, hobbies, and video games they love.
With wiki writing, students can practice nonfiction text structures, organization of ideas, citing sources, multimedia features, and supporting central ideas with details. They can analyze theme, craft, and language, backing up their ideas with evidence. They can include fan fiction and arguments related to their favorite characters and fan opinions. And they can engage with digital design and media literacy as they build their wiki for a real audience.
Wikis could also be used to support content learning. For example, a class could create a wiki all about narrative writing, or all about research skills, or all about how to survive middle school, etc. Students in other classes or grade levels or schools could view and contribute to the wiki in order to engage in a knowledge-building community beyond the classroom. The idea is to do meaningful writing for an authentic audience in a real learning community... the possibilities are endless!
Deepen Your Understanding
Now that you have completed lesson 4, revisit your understanding of the learning target. Consider what new understandings you now have, and develop your initial understandings based on the lesson materials.
What are you thinking now about how you might use wikis in your classroom? How could students use wikis to collaboratively produce narrative, information, and/or argument writing?