I’m still working on my lesson plans for a unit on The House of the Scorpion by Nancy Farmer. Somewhere in my classroom, hiding in some box, is a collection of pictures that I put together for my bulletin board. I usually do this huge “free association” display and cover my bulletin boards – the range of things that Nancy Farmer pulls into the story is amazing. I try to have everything from opium production to the chupacabras on there. Reading is about making connections between the book you are reading and all sorts of things: other books, TV shows, popular culture and more.
Enter Peter Rabbit. There are quite a few references to Peter in the story (they call him Pedro el Conejo but they still call the farmer MacGregor). Matt really relates to the rabbit, and there’s even an evil (opium) farmer MacGregor. In my previous entry, I mentioned that Latino students could relate to many of the references. But I wasn’t sure about Peter Rabbit. So I started looking for pix.
Lucky me – I landed on a digital copy of the book on Wikisource.com. Project Gutenberg also has an older copy not illustrated by Beatrix Potter. I was going to just read it aloud, but then I decided that I needed visuals. So I decided to make a PowerPoint Presentation. After trying to copy the pictures and the text separately, I came up with an easier solution.
First, I converted the page into a PDF file using Bullzip PDF. It was as easy as pressing “Print”. Then, I used the snapshot tool to cut out chunks that had both pictures and text (Just choose Tools>Select & Zoom>Snapshot Tool and use the framing tool to choose what you want to copy) and pasted them into blank PowerPoint slides. I plan to use my projector tomorrow to show it. Fun, huh?
Do you think I could have them do a literary essay on the references to Pedro el Conejo in House of the Scorpion? Well, I can dream…