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Living Book Reports: Bring Literacy to Life With Robotics

Colorado Convention Center, Mile High Ballroom 3C

Explore and create: Exploratory Creation lab
Preregistration Required
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District Technology Instructional Coach
Cucamonga School District
Darren has been in education for the past twenty-five years with sixteen at the elementary and middle school level. He is currently in his ninth year as a district technology instructional coach focused on the integration of both educational technology and computer science in the classroom while emphasizing instructional strategies, building relationships, teacher sustainability, student creativity, student engagement, and student success. He is an advocate for Computer Science centered on equitable practices, alignment to standards, cross-curricular integration, and accessible approaches. He is a Micro:bit Champion, both Google and Microsoft Certified Educator, and IACUE Board President.
Education Information Technology
Tonya Coats is a Technology Curriculum Coordinator (TSA) for Jurupa Unified School District in Southern California. She has been an educator for over 20 years. Tonya believes exposing students to computer science at a young age will give them the exposure to build interest and confidence to learn how to apply these skills to help solve real-world problems. In 2023, she was featured on CBS Mission: Unstoppable as a leading female in STEM. She is an ISTE presenter, 2023 micro:bit champion, a 2022 CSTA Honorable Mention, 2022-2023 CSTA Equity Fellow, and an IACUE Board Member, a regional affiliate of CUE.
Director of Education and Mission
BirdBrain Technologies
Sarah FitzHenry is an educator working to provide equitable and engaging educational experiences for all students. As the Learning and Community Manager for BirdBrain Technologies, she connects, supports, and empowers educators all over the world as they bring creative robotics into their classrooms. Sarah is a tech geek, maker, writer, volunteer, and co-host of the Once Upon a Tech podcast. A Jane-of-all-trades, she can be found in Charlottesville, Virginia making mistakes, learning new things, and asking a lot of questions.

Session description

Elevate literacy with robotic book reports! Join our hands-on workshop, where we'll design book cover robots inspired by literature. In this hands-on workshop, we will collaborate, build and discuss pedagogical tips to build confidence in robotics and computer science instruction. No robotics experience is required!

Purpose & objective

The core purpose of our session is to bridge the gap between traditional literacy methods and the rapid advancements in technology, specifically robotics and computer science.

By the end of this workshop, participants will understand the value and potential of integrating robotics into traditional literacy instruction.
Acquire hands-on experience in designing, building, and programming literature-inspired robots. They will gain pedagogical insights to instill confidence in incorporating robotics and computer science into classroom teaching.
Participants will be able to adapt and apply the concepts learned in the workshop to their specific classroom and curriculum needs.

In today's digital age, retaining student attention and ensuring deep comprehension in traditional literacy classes can be challenging. There's a pressing need for educators to diversify instructional methods with technology with core educational principles.

We will use beginner-friendly robotics tools such as servos, sensors, and LEDs will allow participants to bring literature to life.

We plan to facilitate group-based tasks where educators collaborate to craft robots. Offering a hands-on approach to grasp the intricacies of robotics in the context of literature.

-Lesson Plans & Instructional Activities :
Introduction to robotic book reports and their relevance.
Group brainstorming on selecting literature pieces.
Hands-on activity: Designing and building robots that represent selected literature.
Pedagogical discussion: Strategies to implement robotics in classrooms, potential challenges, and solutions. Sharing of online resources and tools to assist in continued learning post-session.

-Evidence of Success:
We will measure the success of this session with participant involvement and enthusiasm during the hands-on activities. We will also measure success with participants successfully designing and creating robotic book covers by the end of the session.

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1. Introduction (5 minutes)
Welcome and brief overview of the session's objectives.
2. Bridging Literacy and Technology (5 minutes)
Presentation on the importance and relevance of integrating robotics into literacy instruction.
A short discussion on the challenges of retaining student attention in traditional literacy classes.
3. Introduction to Robotic Book Reports (10 minutes)
Showcasing examples of literature-inspired robots.
Explanation of the value and potential they bring to the classroom.
4. Hands-on Building (20 minutes)
Tutorial on the basics of using these tools.
Participants start the initial phase of designing their robots.
5. Coding Tutorial (10 minutes)
6. Resources & Continued Learning ( 10 minutes)
Address potential challenges and offer solutions.
Sharing of online resources, tools, and platforms for continued learning in integrating robotics in literacy instruction.
Open the floor for any questions or clarifications.
Provide contact information for any post-session inquiries.
Encourage educators to explore and integrate the concepts learned in their classrooms.

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Supporting research

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Session specifications

Innovative learning environments
Grade level:
Skill level:
Teachers, Technology coordinators/facilitators
Attendee devices:
Devices useful
Attendee device specification:
Laptop: Chromebook, Mac, PC
Subject area:
Computer science, STEM/STEAM
ISTE Standards:
For Educators:
  • Use technology to create, adapt and personalize learning experiences that foster independent learning and accommodate learner differences and needs.
  • Set professional learning goals to explore and apply pedagogical approaches made possible by technology and reflect on their effectiveness.
For Students:
Empowered Learner
  • Students use technology to seek feedback that informs and improves their practice and to demonstrate their learning in a variety of ways.