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LeAnne Hernandez: Week One “Teachers Are Givers” Winner!


hernandezCongratulations to our first Teachers Are Givers contest winner: LeAnne Hernandez of Tuscany Heights Elementary School in Texas!

Read below for more details on her creative use of music, Podsnack.com, and other social media outlets to teach The Giver.  Also, check out LeAnne’s bio in the Walden Media Teacher Hall of Fame.

And don’t forget that the Teachers Are Givers contest is open until June 27. So keep those ideas coming for a chance to be one of the next three winners!

The Power of a Podsnack

By LeAnne Hernandez

The Justification

Many tweens list mobile devices among their most important possessions.  Of particular importance is their music.  While I do not always love their musical choices, I do value the role music plays in their lives.  It is a means of expression and a valuable way to connect to their peers.  So why not instruct them to create a playlist?

The Assignment

At the end of The Giver we leave Jonas hearing beyond for the first time. Music, one of the most powerful components of our world, has been absent from his. But The Giver alludes to the idea that the music has been there all along, if only we had the capacity to hear it.

Your Mission

Think back over the primary events in the novel. Choose at least five. Then pick a piece of music to symbolize each event. OR Imagine that you are Jonas or another character in the book.  What kind of music would you enjoy?  What lyrics might have special meaning to you? Choose at least 5 songs for your character’s playlist. THEN Bring the lyrics and a written justification for your choices to class. If you choose a song that has no lyrics, explain why you did.  IN CLASS Use selections to make individual or class podsnacks. Podsnack.com is a free online tool which allows a user to create an audio playlist.  Podsnacks can be shared via Facebook, Twitter, or email, and can be embedded or downloaded.  The kids love listening to the playlists, and I love their thoughtful reflections.