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Saturday, January 29, 2011

Book Drum: Going Beyond the Page

Book Drum is "the perfect companion to the books we love, bringing them to life with immersive pictures, videos, maps and music." In other words, Book Drum provides multimedia annotations to many the novels you know and love, and some you may not know and love (yet).

Each book's Profile consists of:
  • Bookmarks: page-by-page commentary and illustration of the text;
  • Setting: description and illustration of the main places or themes of the book;
  • Glossary: foreign, invented and tricky words deciphered;
  • Summary: objective synopsis of the book;
  • Review: subjective analysis and evaluation of the book; and
  • Author: biographical information, interview videos, links and photos.
At the site you'll find classics including David Copperfield, The Great Gatsby, To Kill a Mockingbird, Frankenstein, Don Quixote, The Handmaid's Tale, The Catcher in the Rye, The Bell Jar, The Road, Tess of the d'Urbervilles, and many more. You'll also find picture books and a few favorites from children's literature. The best part about this site? It's always growing.

What readers may find most interesting is the Bookmarks. They often confirm a conclusion a reader has already drawn, as in these examples from The Road:

At other times, the Bookmarks provide additional information which, though tangential to the storyline, in nonetheless interesting, as in the case of the game of Buzkashi, mentioned in The Kite Runner:

The obvious use of this site is a resource for teachers and students to access background knowledge for a book they're presently studying.

However, I can also see students creating their own Book Drum projects informally, using Google Docs or a similar collaborative tool. Google Docs or a wiki would allow pairs or groups of students to work on the same novel by assigning each member a set number of pages or chapters. An alternative to a full would be to use the same process with shorter literature selections: short stories, interviews, current event articles, poems, lyrics.

I have to admit, I like this site. I found myself not only checking out notes on books I had read, but also investigating books I hadn't even heard of. While some of the formatting at times seems a bit clunky (because of oddly sized graphics versus the text boxes), the research and notes seem pretty solid.

Have a thought on using this resource? Can you think of another way for students to create a similar product in order to dissect what they're reading? Leave a comment below.


Diane Lauer said...

This is a goldmine - and so is your blog! Thanks for sharing, I hope to visit often and share with my district colleagues.

Keith Schoch said...

I do like Book Drum; was especially excited to see some of the titles in progress.

Thanks for the kind words!

Anonymous said...

What an interesting resource - thanks for sharing it!

Shana Ray said...

Wow! Thanks for sharing this resource! Bringing books to life. I love it! I definitely have to check it out!


Bree said...

I'm participating as a contributor in the Tournament this year and thought the same ideas you had for use in the classroom. What a great resource Book Drum is.

Kittie Howard said...

Hi, I'm dropping in from the Friday Blog Hop. Nice to meet you. Your blog is a treasure trove! I'm your newest follower and at: I hope you'll visit me.

Keith Schoch said...

Thanks to Bookdout, Shana Ray, Bree, and Kittie for coming by to comment!

Bree: good luck with the tournament at Book Drum. That's got to be a lot of pressure! But we should see some great projects come out of it.

MommyWantsToRead said...

Old follower stopping by from the friday follower hop. Hope you have a great weekend. If you get a chance please check out my blog. I have two great giveaways going on.

Reflections of a Bookaholic said...

Wow I wish I had known about this for my students. I love your blog!

Reflections of a Bookaholic said...

I am adding your blog on the "blogs I love" section of my blog. This is such a great resource. Thank you for what you do.

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