Monday, May 13, 2013

Using Technology to "Spice Up" a Read-Aloud

I fell in love with this book from the cover. Then, I read some really great reviews. Then, I watched a video with the author discussing the book and found out I had missed out on reading it as part of the Global Read Aloud project. So, I decided I would get the book on my tablet and read it with a small group of fifth graders for a book study. Well, that was a flop. They just didn't get into the book, and didn't like any of the activities I planned. So, I moved on to sharing it with 3rd graders. They are loving it! And I've incorporated all sorts of technology extras to make it an even more engaging experience. We are all enjoying it very much. I was so excited to find out that Zoo Atlanta was having a Google+ hangout with Ivan's real keeper. The Google+ Hangout was a really neat experience. It was live and there were classrooms that participated and asked questions. I would really love to participate in more of these and Zoo Atlanta is going to try and do one once a month.  We watched it today and they absolutely loved it. The keeper of course shared loads of information about the real Ivan - that he had a friend named Kashata that was transferred to Disney, he loved red, hated to be cold or wet, etc. Then of course it is fun to research these things even further on the Internet. I researched the family that originally owned Ivan - the Irwin family of B & I Circus Mall in Tacoma, Washington. It just makes the book that much more interesting, in my opinion.  If you are not familiar with the story of Ivan, do some research on the internet and read the book. I absolutely love the fact that it was based on a true story and that there is so much information available about the real Ivan. I just wish I could hop on over to the Atlanta Zoo and see him - but sadly he passed away in August of 2012.  Here is a listing of all my links to help engage you, or your students, in the wonderful story of The One and Only Ivan.

Pin It


  1. Thanks so much for sharing this! This book is one of our Sunshine State Young Reader Awards books for next school year; I will be checking out your links.

    Math is Elementary

  2. I love using technology when you can. Can't wait to look through these links!

  3. Thank you for sharing information and links for The One and Only Ivan. I discovered this book last summer while reading a teacher's blog. I purchased it online and read it to my third grade class, they loved it. I have added the links you shared to the "Read Aloud" page on our classroom website. We also did a comparison to the book "Charlotte's Web".