Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Tried it & Techie Tuesday - Introducing Reading Groups with Video Clips

Hello, Everyone!  Today, I am linking up with Holly from Fourth Grade Flipper for Tried it Tuesday.

I would like to share how I tried using video clips to introduce my realistic fiction unit.  Because this "Tried it" involves technology, I am also linking up with Karla from Technology Tailgate for Techie Tuesday.

Before we started our reading groups, I wanted to make sure that students had a clear definition of realistic fiction.  I also wanted them to be able to generalize the definition to different media.  I decided to show them a variety of video clips to spark conversation about this genre.  I started with "Safety Patrol" from A Diary of a Wimpy Kid.

We had a discussion about why this clip fell into the realistic fiction category.  Students were easily able to make connections to our own school safety patrol.  (We actually serve hot chocolate to our patrol as well.)

After we discussed why the clip is realistic, I replayed the book trailer for our current read aloud, Wonder.  We are almost finished with this book, so students had lots of examples of realistic elements for this story.

After our discussion, we came up with this definition for realistic fiction.

Realistic Fiction - A made up story that could actually happen

Then, I decided to throw my students a curve ball by showing them this clip, "First Shot" from Air Bud.

Some students felt that this movie was realistic because the dog was actually trained to make the shots.  However, some argued that the entire story line was not realistic because a dog would not be permitted to be a player on a basketball team.  The jury is still out on this one, but the general consensus was that the movie was unrealistic. We had a great conversation about the "fuzzy line" between different genres.

Finally, I played "Reckless Flying" from Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.  Students were easily able to point out why this clip was not realistic.

I liked using these video clips because the students were very engaged.  They participated in the discussion, and I feel they now have a strong understanding of realistic fiction. I will likely use this method again when we tackle another genre/theme.

Seeing these fun clips also added excitement to the books students would read. Here are the books that I am using for this unit.  (I love and recommend all of them!)

(Level O)

(Level Q)

(Level R)

(Level S)

I have had success with all of these books in the past, and I am looking forward to using them this year. 

I'm off to check out what everyone else has tried and to see the great ideas for integrating technology.  Thank you, Holly and Karla for hosting these awesome linkies!

Have a great week!


  1. Oh my gosh! This post makes me want to be a kid in your class! This looks like such a fun unit with fantastic books!
    A Tall Drink of Water

  2. What a wonderful way to teach realistic fiction! I am always looking for ways to incorporate more technology ~ video clips ~ and this post has helped me with that task. Thank you!