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Lesson Plan

Collaborating, Writing, Linking: Using Wikis to Tell Stories Online

E-mail / Share / Print This Page / Print All Materials (Note: Handouts must be printed separately)

Grades 6 – 8
Lesson Plan Type Standard Lesson
Estimated Time Five 60-minute sessions
Lesson Author

Jane Ann Chin

Inverary, Ontario

Rebecca Jean Luce-Kapler

Inverary, Ontario


International Literacy Association



From Theory to Practice



When students read online, they engage with text differently. Clicking on links and images for more information easily takes them down unexpected paths, links to e-mail addresses allow them to interact with authors, and wikis allow them to make changes to published text. This lesson has students create stories that reflect this kind of reading. Students begin by reading untraditional books that use fragmented storylines, multiple perspectives, and unresolved plots. They apply these same types of strategies to their own writing, which they then publish using wiki technology. In doing so, students practice important literacy skills including searching for information, integrating images into text, and creating storylines that are reflective of the new types of reading found on the Internet. With different on-level literature, this lesson can also be adapted for high school classrooms.

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Luce-Kapler, R. (2007). Radical change and wikis: Teaching new literacies. Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy, 51(3), 214-223.

  • Students are used to having to read and write in traditional ways when they are in school so it is critical that teachers make the distinctions between the traditional ways of thinking about reading and writing and the new ways necessitated by new types of texts.

  • Students need to think out loud and make comparisons between what they are typically reading and writing in schools and what they are being asked to read and write with nontraditional texts.

  • When discussing radical change books, focusing on the ways in which the images and the text further the storyline rather than simply reflecting the storyline will help students when it comes to creating stories using images as well as links and written text.

  • Students are extremely motivated to create their stories on the Internet, like linking to each other's stories and incorporating images. However, the teacher plays a critical role in setting the right tone for students to feel free to try these new ways of writing and collaborating. The teacher must feel comfortable with the use of wiki technology.


Dresang, E. (1999). Radical change: Books for youth in a digital age. New York: The H.W. Wilson Company.

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