Edutech for Teachers

Cool Tools for the 21st Century Classroom

Magazine Mania with Big Huge Labs


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Looking for a way to provide your students with an opportunity to demonstrate creative expression in the learning process? Then check out the Magazine Cover generator located within the suite of utilities available via Big Huge Labs, a Web 2.0 mashup tool that combines images, media and information from multiple sources into a new creation.

Whether you would like your students to create a cover page for an essay or show their knowledge regarding a particular topic—characters from a novel, a historical time period or figure, an element from the Periodic Table or a math concept—the Magazine Cover option encourages them to focus on “big ideas” through the use of headlines. Completing an activity of this nature—writing that is short, concise and to the point—reinforces main idea and summarization skills while promoting inquiry and deeper thinking. In addition, locating an image that accurately depicts a specific subject is also a critical thinking skill in itself.

So, enough already about why you should seriously consider integrating this powerful tool into your classroom. Check out the customized covers below to actually see why you should do so!

Created for a Grade 6 Social Studies class as a culminating activity/assessment tool to summarize the most important information learned about Ancient Egypt.

Discover Egypt Mag Cover

Created for a Grade 4 History class to highlight information about an upcoming unit on Colonial Life.

Colonial Times Magazine Cover

Created as a cover page for a Grade 6 autobiography project.


Classroom Connection:

I think I pretty much used all of my persuasive powers above to try to convince you of the value of utilizing the Magazine Cover tool with students, but in the event you need more justification, here are a few more reasons to add this resource to your tech box:

The more content is manipulated, the more likely it is understood and remembered—especially when visual literacy skills are added to the mix to extend learning. Besides that, the Magazine Cover utility requires students to use both the right and left side of the brain while utilizing a tech tool.

And if you’re looking for an extension activity, have students use one or more of the headlines from their Magazine Cover to write an actual article.

So there you have it, more than enough rationale as to why you should get busy with your very own Magazine Cover project sooner than later!

Check out additional information about incorporating Big Huge Labs in the classroom by accessing my professional development wiki page 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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