The story-world has never seemed so intense, and the students have never been so engaged. Why you ask? Well in class, we are currently at a point where book clubs are in full swing. There are three different books being read, and two groups per book. Two of those groups are currently reading the Skeleton Creek transmedia book.
So what is transmedia? A transmedia book is when a story is told through various media formats. In this case, they read about 20 pages and then the book gives them a website and password. They visit the website, type in their password, and the next piece of the story is right there for them in video. The key is that the book doesn't make much sense without the videos, and the videos don't make much sense without the book. This dynamic has the students diving into their books like never before.
Patrick Carman is an author who leads the way in this field. His mysteries are accessible enough for younger students, but have a "real-feel" that middle grade students love. And it doesn't hurt to play it up for your students a bit. I print out Wikipedia pages that show that locations in the book are actually real, and articles about the legends of the ghost from the book, then leave them "accidentally" laying around the room. They eat it up...because much like a magic show, they want to believe.
At this point, they are onto the second book in the series, while all other book clubs are still plodding through their original.
Literacy engagement? ...... Check!