I am showing my age here, because I honestly didn’t have the slightest understanding of Snapchat until a few weeks ago. I knew it existed and that most of my high school students were obsessed with it. But I didn’t even know it was one word! Then, over winter break, while scrolling through Twitter on my phone, I stumbled upon a tweet about something called #BookSnaps. I was intrigued even though I didn’t have Snapchat on my phone. Much like one of the cartoons my 5 year old enjoys, where they say, “If someone has a problem, we fix it, with our mighty math powers,” I know who to go to when I have a tech problem - Jen Fischer. With her help I (sort of) figured out Snapchat and a way to harness the enthusiasm my students have for the app. Thanks to, Tara M. Martin, I bring you #BookSnaps in my AP Spanish classroom. Check out more of her ideas and resources here.
So, there is a chance that you would walk by the room of my AP Spanish class and see students on laptops, with their phones out, using Snapchat. You might think I have lost control of my class (or just lost my mind). My students are currently reading the novel ‘La Ciudad de las Bestias’ by Isabel Allende. And, while they are reading, or once they are in class in their ‘Book Club Friday’ group (I am open to a better name for this activity - I had thought of doing something with ‘lunes’ and ‘libros’ but I love ending the week with a non-traditional class), they are creating a #BookSnap. They are choosing something from the chapter they read that struck them. They write a brief comment/reflection (in Spanish), along with a picture of the part they read that grabbed their attention. Then come the Bitmojis and Emojis. To create one of these takes me several minutes, but my Snapchat savvy students manage to do this incredibly quickly. The #BookSnaps are shared on a collaborative Google Slides presentation. This way, everyone gets to see a little bit of insight from everyone of their classmates - that would be extremely difficult to do in a 42 minute class period with class size hovering close to 30 students.
Viewing the #BookSnaps of their classmates serves as a great springboard to a deeper discussion in their book group and as a class. And these students are super creative. And, they are engaged. And, they are enjoying reading a novel. In Spanish. I am so proud! Because each student shares their #BookSnap on a Google Slide, they have been adding a few other creative elements to their slide, including GIFs and memes. The slideshow is so much fun to look through.
In the future, I hope to incorporate a similar model in my novice and intermediate classes. Do you do anything like #BookSnaps when your students read? Share away in the comments!