ALEX Learning Activity


Top Ten Favorite Book Recommendations

A Learning Activity is a strategy a teacher chooses to actively engage students in learning a concept or skill using a digital tool/resource.

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  This learning activity provided by:  
Author: April Chamberlain
System:Trussville City
School:Trussville City Board Of Education
  General Activity Information  
Activity ID: 2152
Top Ten Favorite Book Recommendations
Digital Tool/Resource:
Web Address – URL:

Students will participate in online conversations using a video conferencing tool to share the class' top ten book recommendations. Each class will begin by taking turns sharing their number ten book with a one-minute explanation of the key ideas of the book using illustrations or details in the text, then share number nine in the list and so on, until they reach the top book of their class. 

This activity was created as a result of the DLCS COS Resource Development Summit.

  Associated Standards and Objectives  
Content Standard(s):
English Language Arts
ELA2015 (2015)
Grade: 1
16 ) Use the illustrations and details in a text to describe its key ideas. [RI.1.7]

English Language Arts
ELA2015 (2015)
Grade: 1
31 ) Participate in collaborative conversations with diverse partners about Grade 1 topics and texts with peers and adults in small and larger groups. [SL.1.1]

a. Follow agreed-upon rules for discussions (e.g., listening to others with care, speaking one at a time about the topics and texts under discussion). [SL.1.1a]

b. Build on others' talk in conversations by responding to the comments of others through multiple exchanges. [SL.1.1b]

c. Ask questions to clear up any confusion about the topics and texts under discussion. [SL.1.1c]

Digital Literacy and Computer Science
DLIT (2018)
Grade: 1
9) Use a variety of digital tools collaboratively to connect with other learners.

Examples: Video calling, blogs, collaborative documents.

Unpacked Content
Evidence Of Student Attainment:
  • will, collaboratively, connect with others using images, text, audio, and/or video digital creation tools.
Teacher Vocabulary:
  • video
  • audio
  • text
  • image
Students know:
  • how to connect with others through image, video, text, and audio digital creation tools.
Students are able to:
  • contribute to an online video and/or audio discussion with other students in a protected platform.
  • contribute to an online text discussion with other students in a protected platform.
  • contribute to collaborative documents with other students in a protected platform.
Students understand that:
  • they can communicate and connect with other learners through video, audio, images, and text in a protected learning environment.
Learning Objectives:

Students will use illustrations or text to describe key ideas of a top book recommendation to another class.

Students will use a digital video conferencing tool to connect with other learners and participate in collaborative conversations about top book recommendations.

  Strategies, Preparations and Variations  

The students will:

  1. review books read by themselves or an adult to choose their top book recommendation (one per student) and share key ideas from the book using text or illustrations.
  2. present their book recommendation (one per student) to the class briefly sharing key ideas and why it should be on the Top Ten Book Recommendations for First Graders. The teacher will make a list of the book titles on a chart or the board that is easily accessible for students to place post-it notes on in step 3.
  3. use three post-it notes to vote on their top three books that were recommended by students by placing their post-it notes on beside book titles. A bar chart can be created for a visual representation of data.
  4. collect the data to count the number of votes each book recommendation received and order the list by the top number of votes down to the least number of votes. The top ten books as voted by the class will be shared with the partner class(es).
  5. learn and practice how to participate in video conferences/conversation with others using agreed-upon rules for discussions (e.g., listening to others with care, speaking one at a time about the topics and texts under discussion, speak clearly, speak loudly). Assign pairs of students to each of the top ten books that will be shared. The students will practice saying their countdown number, book title, author, key ideas using at least one picture from the book, and how to speak clearly and loudly into the microphone and look at the web camera.  Recommendation - practice using Zoom with someone from the technology department, technology teacher, etc.
  6. participate in an online collaboration/video conference using free Zoom video conferencing software, laptop/desktop, and microphone (on laptop or external). The video conference will begin with introductions from each class stating city and state, school, mascot and any other brief "get to know you" type information the teachers predetermines.  
  7. share their top ten book recommendations with at least one other class from a different city or state. Each student or pair of students will share a book recommendation started with number ten on their list, then the collaborative class will share their number ten recommendation with a brief summary of key ideas from the book. This pattern will repeat with each class taking turns sharing their recommendations from 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, and 1.
  8. have a discussion comparing how many books are in common, new authors, etc.
  9. participate in one or more video conferences with other classes to collect additional data on common and new book recommendations.
Assessment Strategies:

The students will be assessed by teacher observation of their video conference presentation of top book recommendation using illustrations and text to describe key ideas.

Advanced Preparation:

Download and practice using Zoom software. Using the free version, the video conference can last 50 minutes. You can also set the video conference to be recorded and saved to your local machine for playback later.

Find first-grade classrooms from around the U.S. to participate in this collaboration using online networks and websites such as Center for Interactive Learning and Collaboration (recommended), Twitter, ISTE, or ask Technology Coordinator or Technology Integration Specialist for assistance in connecting, etc.

Variation Tips (optional):

You can focus on a specific genre, author, etc. instead of a favorite book, such as Dr. Seuss, fairy tales, etc.

Try to locate a class from each time zone to video conference with.

Review a U.S. map to locate where the collaborating classroom is located.

Notes or Recommendations (optional):
  Keywords and Search Tags  
Keywords and Search Tags: