Tableaus are something I've been using with Lit Circle units for a while. The idea comes from Faye Brownlie's book "Grand Conversations" (an awesome resource if you want to try Lit Circles in class). Tableaus are frozen scenes (like capturing a still shot in a movie). Students re-create a frozen scene from the novel they are reading that captures a key theme in that novel. In the past I have had students present their tableaus in front of the class, but this year I was short on time, and the novels are also testable material on the provincial exam (for English First Peoples) so I wanted something more permanent that the students could go back to for studying purposes.
Enter "Thinglink"- a web based program that lets you upload photos and then add interactive links such as text, video or audio. Instead of presenting the tableau in front of the class, each group (or set of partners) took a photo of their scene, uploaded it and typed in the explanations of the various elements of the scene. If you hover over the dots on the scene below you can see the explanation of the scene, the theme it represents etc. In the case of tableaus, "Thinglink" is very effective because it allows the students to add unlimited text without wrecking the picture- (where a program such as "comic life" would not be as effective because it leaves so little room for text). This program allowed me to keep all the benefits of tableaus (movement, visualization, creativity, collaboration) and let students record the information more effectively for long term memory and sharing purposes. I think this is a program that could work well in many different subject areas. If I really wanted students to present in front of the class, it could also become an option for students who were extremely shy and needed an alternative method of presentation.
For examples of traditional tableaus done in a Social Studies 9 class click on this post.
Here is an OUTLINE SHEET that students use to organize their ideas before they are allowed to use the cameras.