Sparknotes

Free! Sparknotes supports users as they study literature, prepare for high stakes tests, and engage texts for entertainment. At the top of the website’s pages are a list of sections users can select that include: Sparknotes, No Fear, Test Prep, Video, Sparklife, and Mindhunt. The “Sparknotes” option provides users with a comprehensive list of novels, videos, and subjects. Users must click on a title or topic to access detailed notes, commentary, and summaries related to the topic. The “No Fear” option includes Shakespearean works and canonical literature that use an English dialect (e.g., Shakespearean English, Middle English, Old English, etc.).…

Review Overview

A. Instruction - 8
B. Design - 9.3
C. Engagement - 7.3

8.2

Sparknotes: A Top Resource for Literature Study and Other Content Areas Too!

Summary : The Go-To Study Resource

Sparknotes supports users as they study literature, prepare for high stakes tests, and engage texts for entertainment. At the top of the website’s pages are a list of sections users can select that include: Sparknotes, No Fear, Test Prep, Video, Sparklife, and Mindhunt. The “Sparknotes” option provides users with a comprehensive list of novels, videos, and subjects. Users must click on a title or topic to access detailed notes, commentary, and summaries related to the topic. The “No Fear” option includes Shakespearean works and canonical literature that use an English dialect (e.g., Shakespearean English, Middle English, Old English, etc.). Users pick a work from the list, and Sparknotes provides them with the original text and a modern English version of the text. The two texts are shown side-by-side, so users can easily view the original and modern versions at the same time. The “Test Prep” section provides users with information about the SAT, ACT, GRE, and AP Subject Tests. By clicking the name of the test, users will be able to learn about it, the topics assessed by the test, and often times practice exercises. The “Video” option includes two sections. One section provides users with summaries of novels, and the other section consists of videos users can view while taking a study break. The “Sparklife” and “Mindhunt” options include a variety of images, blogs, videos, and text that are organized by topic. To access the content, users can browse by topic or they can scroll the content already posted. If users register with Sparknotes, they will be able to leave comments on the webpage about the content they engaged.

Instructional Ideas

  1. Teachers can create jigsaw activities to help students comprehend a novel. To do so, teachers can divide a class into groups of 3-4 students. Next, each group can be assigned a chapter or section, and they will have to present it. Their presentation may include summaries, images, key points, and quotes, so their classmates get a thorough review of the chapter or section. As groups prepare their presentation, they can use this website as a resource. When ready, teachers can have the groups present their topic in order and require students who are viewing the presentation to take notes. In this way, the group will help prepare their classmates for an upcoming assessment.
  2. When reading a Shakespearean play, teachers can have students engage the text using the website’s “No Fear” option. As they do, teachers can ask students if they prefer reading the original text or the modern version. Students can respond in writing, and they must explain why they prefer one version instead of the other.
  3. If time for free reading is available, teachers can have students choose an article or blog from the “Sparklife” or “Mindhunt” option. Students will then have to read the text, summarize it, and explain if they liked it or not. Students can complete this writing assignment using an Office app. In addition, teachers can require students to leave a comment about the article or blog on the website.
  4. To support students text comprehension, teachers can have them view a video about the text in this website. After viewing the video, teachers can have students complete a 3-2-1 activity. In it, students will write three topics that were clarified for them by viewing the video, two themes mentioned in the video, and one question they still have. Teachers can complete their 3-2-1 using an Office app and email it to their teacher.
A1. Rigor
A2. 21st Century Skills
A3. Conn. to Future Learning
A4. Value of Errors
A5. Feedback to Teacher
A6. Level of Material
A7. Cooperative Learning
A8. Accom. of Individual Diff.
B1. Ability to Save Progress
B2. Platform Integration
B3. Screen Design
B4. Ease of Use
B5. Navigation
B6. Goal Orientation
B7. Information Presentation
B8. Media Integration
B9. Cultural Sensitivity
C1. Learner Control
C2. Interactivity
C3. Pace
C4. Flexibility
C5. Interest
C6. Aesthetics
C7. Utility

Screenshots

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