A few days ago in one of my Facebook groups, a fellow member queried us for an easy-peasy, low-maintenance way to track the books you’ve read. Although many use Goodreads (and I have an account there, too), this member wanted to avoid the site and the drama that goes with it. (Yes, even book nerds have their drama instigators and fomenters.)
So I shared what I used: A simple Pinterest board. Every January, I create a new board for my reading that year. When I finish the book, I locate an image of it and pin it. If I want to leave a few notes about it–cool! If I’m tired or not in the mood, then I don’t write a comment.
This can easily be adopted in classrooms. Because most students are visual, they enjoy seeing a more visual list of book covers rather than just a list of names. In the comment area, students can add blurbs, starred ratings, number of pages, or link to other friends they’d recommend the book to.
I know that countless teachers already use Pinterest. We create boards for lesson plans and writing prompts and art projects and pretty, pretty classrooms (for those of us who do lots of decor) and pin ideas there. Pinterest is a great resource for that. But Pinterest could be used in other ways more directly relating to students. Think about these possibilities:
1. Students could create a board that represents a character in a book the class is reading. Imagine what Gatsby’s board might look like. Or Daisy’s. What kind of quotes might Hamlet pin to his board? What might Jem or Scout pin on their boards?
2. Give students a collection task related to visual images. Photography that uses the rule of 9. Examples of impressionist paintings. Samples of pointellism? A teacher can then lead a discussion with the class using images that students selected, giving them ownership in the lesson.
3. Teachers can make Pinterest boards to create a “menu” of ideas for students. Say students in geography class must select a South American country to research. Make a Pinterest board with a pin for each country that leads to a reliable website about that country. Or do students need to research Revolutionary War heroes? US Presidents? Civil Rights leaders? Make a Pinterest board of their possibilities using images from Biography.com or another website. Students will likely click on a few pins, learning a little about each, but make their decision faster because of this process.
4. Only want your students to research certain sites? Make a board of those sites.
I’m sure others have created more possibilities to Pinterest, and writing this makes me more interested in trying some in my own classroom!