Persuasive Political Vines

I was really excited to work with two great ELA cooperating (student) teachers who are from my alma mater, Towson University. Shout out to Jessica Robertson & Debora Chun! An additional shout out their kind professor who actually had my blog on her "to read & review" list! So, they came to this school already familiar with my blog, how crazy is that? W00t!

So, when they expressed a desire for us to work together before they left my school it was trixy finding 2-4 days between PARCC testing and MAP testing to fit them in, but we did! 

As I mentioned in my last post I first wanted to do a Mystery Skype with an educator in the Dominican Republic because my 7th grade kiddos had just finished reading Before We Were Free. Sadly, after reaching out to, and never hearing back, from all of Mystery Skype educators in the Dominican Republic (Ok, there were only 4!) we had to move on to plan B! or should I say Plan V for Vine!  We tasked the kids to create a persuasive political message and record it using Vine.
Read below, taken from our Wikispaces page.

Vine Video Rebel Message

What if you could make a difference?
What if you could save a life?

Your group has found a way to hack into the local TV station to deliver a 6 second message.It will loop over and over again until the "authorities" can stop it. Brainstorm, plan, and storyboard how you will convey your message.

Are you a rebel and a freedom fighter?

This message should be either exposing what wrong doings you have observed or to give a passionate appeal for help. Think of visual ideas that will be intriguing & convincing. Stop action animation could also be a creative choice. REHEARSE!

Are you a spy?
Create a hidden message in the 6 second video that asks for help or relates secret information. Must relate to the book. Study the information on the wikipage and our research databases about cryptography, encryption, and decryption of secret codes.  Hint: Stop action animation would work well for this! Think of visual ideas that will be intriguing & convincing.

Vine Tech Tips:
Remember, every time you tap the Vine screen, it stops, then you tap again to start the action. That's why stop action animation is SO easy with Vine!  3 clips of 3 seconds of action works the best. Expect to film this at least 3 times before you get the final one! Don’t forget to add the hashtag #BeforeWeWereFree to the description!

Downloadable Storyboard and more are available on my wiki!
I promise to update this blog post when we finish recording the videos - but it may be after my birthday and Memorial Day because we're starting MAP testing again next week. So, stay tuned! Here's a few for now!

Tweet me if you have any questions or leave a comment!
Cheers dears! ~Gwyneth

I met with the student teachers and went over how to record a Vine, how to make a stop action animation with it,  and also to give them a chance to get some Birchbox Bonanza makeup freebies! It's really important to treat your student teachers right, spoil them a bit, it's all about paying it forward.
A photo posted by Gwyneth Jones (@thedaringlibrarian) on


Educator's Guide: Before We Were Free | Vamos a Leer

Before We Were Free by Julia Alvarez |

Before we were free program guide - - PDF



  1. I recommend the book “Before We Were Free” because it keeps the pages turning and at the same time it makes you tense and want to know what’s going to occur in the next page. I did not finish the book yet so I don’t know whether it was satisfying to read it or not but I can guarantee you that this book will make you satisfied. I can relate that I feel scared at times and I want to be brave but I don’t know what to do.


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