Edutech for Teachers

Cool Tools for the 21st Century Classroom

Synthesize the Cube Creator


Need an engaging prewriting or postreading activity for your students?  Then be sure to check out the Cube Creator from ReadWriteThink, an interactive that provides students with a visual organizer to summarize information in one of the following categories:

» Bio Cube: This option allows students to develop an outline of a person whose biography or autobiography they have just read; it can also be used before students write their own autobiography. Specific prompts ask students to describe a person’s significance, background, and personality.

» Mystery Cube: Use this option to help your students sort out the clues in their favorite mysteries or develop outlines for their own stories. Among its multiple applications, the Mystery Cube helps students identify mystery elements, practice using vocabulary from this popular genre, and sort and summarize information. Specific prompts ask students to describe the setting, clues, crime or mystery, victim, detective, and solution.

» Story Cube: In this cube option, students can summarize the key elements in a story, including character, setting, conflict, resolution, and theme. Students can even identify their favorite part of the story.

» Create-Your-Own Cube: Working on a science unit? Doing some research on volcanoes? Then Create-Your-Own Cube is the answer! This version allows teachers and students to generate their own questions or topics and/or customize cubes on topics of their choosing.

Check out a sneak peek of this “Cool Tool” below!

A “Planning Sheet” accompanies each Cube Creator template.  Since space is limited on the cube, students can utilize this chart to organize and summarize information prior to completing the online activity.

As students respond to prompts on each side of the cube, a fun-shaped, organized chart of information is generated.  Once complete, the finished cube can saved, printed, and folded into a tangible representation of the topic—one that can be shared with others!

Classroom Connection: 

Unlike traditional prewriting and postreading web or charts, the Cube Creator is a fun and visually engaging tool to use.  Besides requiring the students to identify key elements, this activity challenges them to create a comprehensive summary of their topic.

Lesson ideas for integrating the Cube Creator interactive into the elementary, middle and high school classroom can be found here.

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Hey, edu-tech gurus!

Looking for some technology integration ideas to enhance your classroom lessons? Then be sure to check out my "Tech Tips" for the latest and greatest Web 2.0 tools, applications and web sites that can be incorporated into activities and/or projects. Although some posts may not be applicable to your content area or grade level, be sure to check back often as I will be varying ideas in order to provide resources across the K-12 curriculum.

Be sure to add this awesome tool to your tech-box!

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