I really like using Wikispaces with my students, especially if we need to go over a large amount of material in a few days. I thought it would be perfect for our study of The Oedipus Cycle. My seniors had to read this trilogy over the summer, but we still needed to review them pretty thoroughly. Three plays in six days...here we go:
I signed up for Wikispaces a few years ago and used them to great success with both my seniors and sophomores. Anyone can sign up for an account.
Of course, it's always nice to have educator accounts for the free upgrades.
Create your Wikispace. You can specify whether you want the site to be private, protected, or public. The settings are pretty easy to control and you can change them for each of your wikis at anytime.
Wikispaces.com is really user-friendly. You can edit your Home page and then create new pages. You can add images, videos, links, etc. You can also embed various widgets.
You can also click on the discussion tab and create questions for your students to answer.
For The Oedipus Cycle, I included everything we covered in class. I embedded the Prezi on Greek playwrights and Greek theatre I created last week for easy access. If you click on the Oedipus Rex link (see lower left below), the kids worked on groups on various motifs and themes that are found in that particular play. They typed in their findings onto a Notepad document and then I cut and paste them onto the Oedipus Rex Wikispace page.
For the Oedipus at Colonus page, I collected their responses to a sixteen question study guide and typed the questions and answers out.
My students are currently working on their Antigone page. I created linked pages where they will discuss the various conflicts found in the play. Each of my two classes were divided up into six groups. My second period class is going to analyze the first four conflicts on the bulleted list and my eighth period class is looking at the last four conflicts. The four groups left over are each answering three discussion questions (click pic to see details).
The four groups left over are each answering three discussion questions (click pic to see details). I didn't post a screenshot of my questions because some of my kids created user IDs with their full names. Tomorrow, they're going to finish up their assignments and then spend some time responding to the rest of the discussion questions. Friday we will have our unit review and then they'll be ready for their exam on Monday.
Wikispaces really helped my sophomores during our To Kill a Mockingbird unit. They were responsible for creating pages for each major character...no more "What do you mean Scout's a girl?" moments! The discussions were also really valuable. The quieter students tend to be more comfortable sharing their thoughts online as opposed to speaking in front of a large group. I've also had students create their own pages about books they enjoyed in my class.
Before I forget, I did want to include one quick hint. Leave your Wikispace public when you have your students join it. They can edit the pages immediately instead of waiting for you to approve each request. You still have to approve their membership, but now you don't have 25+ kids milling around waiting for everyone else to join. Once all the kids are in, change the Wikispace Permissions setting to either "protected" or "private."