In AP, one of the ways I love to build up to an oral comparison or persuasive essay, our two “test” assessments in each unit, is to explore the topic using stations. One of my spring units is called “El ritmo me mueve” and involves investigating artistic expression in many forms: art, design, music, and more. As we begin the unit, I like to start with a simple stations day on music, which is easily adaptable to other levels.
When we do stations, I try to make sure I’m hitting all the modes by making each station focus on a particular mode. Here are the stations we do for music:
Students interact with a website for a music awards show like Premio Lo Nuestro, Latin Grammy, or Premios Juventud, depending on the time of year. I direct my students straight to the page with the categories and nominees; the photos on the home pages are often inappropriate for my students. Students choose a category and listen to part of one song or album (via YouTube or Storify) from each nominee, and then report which one they think should win.
For this, against my better judgment, I used VoiceThread, and as usual, it was problematic, but functional I suppose. I looked through Creative Commons photos for a picture involving people at a concert. I uploaded the photo to VoiceThread and students described the photo in an audio comment. They were especially supposed to focus on what a person in the audience did before and during the concert. They could assign the person a name and any other characteristics they wanted. For a sample of VoiceThread, see a test VT my students did.
Students ask each other questions about their music preferences. I’ve uploaded my questions here, which you can use and/or edit.
How could you use stations to preview a topic with your students? What technology issues affect you or enhance your ability to do this?