My Six-Word Summer Teaching Kit
Made by Mozilla Learning Networks.
Learners will remix HTML code to change the words and image on a website, learning about composing for the web, remix, and search.
An hour to 75 minutes
Do the activity on your own to become familiar with it. Make sure your technology works as expected across a few test machines.
You may also wish to set up an account on teach.mozilla.org that you can share with your learners. This will save time later when they are ready to publish their remixes.
Review this definition of the word "Remix", so that you can help your learners (and colleagues!) understand what it means to remix a make.
Post the URL, or Web address, of today's make somewhere highly visible in your room. You may want to post it as a shortened link using a service like bit.ly.
Have a brief conversation with students and ask them about the highlights of summer vacation.
- What makes for a good summer vacation?
- How is summer vacation better and/or worse than school?
- What can you learn during vacation outside of school that you don’t have time for during the school year?
Ask learners to make a list or map of their summer vacations that retells what they did, where they went, and whom they saw.
Towards the end of the 10 minutes, ask students to underline, circle, or otherwise mark what’s most important to them on their lists or maps.
Hand out storyboarding templates for the activity. One side of the template is for drafting a story and the other is for drawing or describing an image to go with the story.
Ask learners to complete each side of the organizer so that they have a six-wordstory and a quick sketch or written description of a picture that they want to use with their story.
Introduction to HTML
Ask participants to raise their hands if they know what HTML is. On your projector, go to any website and right-click to “View Source” to show the HTML code for that page. If you have a participant with HTML experience, ask them to see if they can point out a “Tag” in the code. Make sure to introduce these concepts before starting the activity:
- HTML stands for Hypertext Markup Language and is the standard language for web pages.
- HTML tags - which show up between pointy brackets
< >- tell your web browser how to translate the code into the website that Internet users will see. For instance, HTML tags can tell your browser when to turn text into a link, or how big to make the words appear on the page.
- An open tag, like
pfor paragraph tells the webpage where an element or part of the page begins, while a closed tag, like
/p, tells the webpage where that part of the page stops.
Thimble Tour video
Explain that Thimble is a tool that will help learners edit HTML to remix webpages for themselves.
Project the Thimble tour video so all students can see, or have them watch on their computers. The Thimble tour video is available on thimble.webmaker.org.
Remix the project
Post the link to today's activity and ask students to go to that website.
Invite them to hit the 'Remix' button.
After students hit 'Remix,' they will go into the Thimble interface. They will see HTML code on the left and a live-view of the webpage made from that codee on the right. They can click on the 'Tutorial' pane above the live-view on the right to find step-by-step instructions for remixing the webpage.
You can also do a 'think-aloud' and remix the page yourself on the computer connected to your projector. Students who might like more support than the tutorial offers - or students who learn best by listening instead of reading - might appreciate that level of support from you.
Publish your remix. Invite your students to hit the 'Publish'button in the upper right-hand corner of their remix when they finish. Thimble will give them a URL, or Web address, to visit andf share with friends.
Take it a step further. Invite learners to check out the style.css file in the left sidebar and to see what happens when they change values there.
Give students about 5 minutes to visit one another's machines or to swap Web addresses to see what other learners came up with in their remixes.
Ask volunteers to share some of their newly remixed stories with the class.
Facilitate a discussion around questions like
- How is telling a six-word story similar to or different from telling a longer one?
- How do media like images or sound files add to a story?
- How did changing part of the code change part of your story?
- What was it like to start with someone else's story to remix? How was it different from beginning a story on your own?
- What was it like to hit 'publish' and share your story online?