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K-12 Evaluated Resource Collection

Unplugged

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Author/Publisher/Website: Antony, S.
Copyright: 2018
Evaluation/Record Entry Date: Jan/2019
Submitting suppliers/Website: Not Available
Primary Identifier: 9781338187373
Recommended Grades and Subjects/Courses: K-5
(View recommended grades and subjects)

Resource Description

Young robot Blip loves playing and learning on her computer and spends all her time alone, in her dark, flat world of technology, but when she trips on her wire she becomes unplugged, nervous, and doesn’t know what to do. She stumbles outdoors and discovers a bright, vibrant world with real friends, the beauty of nature, and lots of realistic learning opportunities, and when she returns home that night her apprehension is gone and she realizes how much she loved being unplugged. A useful read-aloud for K-5, this timely picture book impresses on students the hazards, consequences, and unhealthy nature of spending too much time online. Supports many learning opportunities.

CURRICULUM FIT

Does the resource support BC curriculum?
Extensively
This product supports the Core Competencies of the BC curriculum:
Communication
Creative Thinking
Critical thinking
Personal Awareness and Responsibility
Social Responsibility
Comments:
The book supports K-5 ELA and PHE curriculum: Curiosity and wonder lead us to new discoveries about ourselves and the world around us; Questioning what we hear, read, and view contributes to our ability to be educated and engaged citizens; Language and text can be a source of creativity and joy; Daily physical activity helps us develop movement skills and physical literacy, and is an important part of healthy living; Understanding ourselves and the various aspects of health helps us develop a balanced lifestyle. Readers are presented with Blip's experiences while being plugged into or unplugged from her computer. Readers learn positive and negative consequences of her lifestyle choices.

SOCIAL CONSIDERATIONS

Social Considerations Comments:
No social considerations were identified.

GENERAL CONTENT

Content
Is the resource engaging?
Extensively
Is the content current for the intended curriculum and grade?
Extensively
Is the content accurate for the intended curriculum and grade?
Extensively
Is the content timely and important for student broad understandings?
Extensively
Audience:
Is the content appropriate to the emotional maturity and cognitive level of students?
Extensively
Does the resource provide opportunities for creative and critical thinking?
Extensively
Is the level of detail appropriate?
Extensively
Is the content of particular interest to male students?
Extensively
Is the content of particular interest to female students?
Extensively
Is the language use appropriate to the emotional maturity and cognitive level of students?
Extensively
Comments:
The book is written in simple, easy poetic prose with a timely and powerful message. All readers will connect to the idea about achieving or reclaiming a balance between time spent on and off technology. With deeper exploration, students can consider or compare/contrast ways to enjoy life 'unplugged'. The illustrations toggle between black and white/colour to mimic real-world experiences that can be more meaningful and joyful than the alternative, essentially (without set limits) an unfulfilling, unhealthy, and unnatural on-line world. The theme is crucial for a wide audience that is growing up or living in today's rapidly evolving and increasingly digitally-dependent world.

TECHNICAL DESIGN

Does the resource make effective use of the medium?
Extensively
Is the location of illustrations appropriate?
Extensively
Is the resource easy to use?
Extensively
Is the use of font, text size and presentation uniform?
Extensively
Comments:
Presented in black and white with silver enhancement, the cover is attractive and interesting with an image of a happy looking 'unplugged' robot, 'Blip', and a connection cable manipulated into a cursive font to spell out the title. The generous-sized square pages are a heavier bond, quality paper to ease page-turning. The font is enlarged black print with purposefully limited text per page. Images are black & white or colour, used to enhance the text as the character travels from a lonely existence plugged into her computer, to a life filled with friends and limitless beauty and wonder in nature. The effective use of foreground and background and facial expression bring the story to life.

PRINT NOVEL

Does the text show insight into the complexity of the human condition?
Moderately
Does the text broaden students’ experiences and understanding?
Extensively
To what degree is this text stylistically rich?
Moderately
Plot description:
Blip, an animated young robot, loves learning and playing on her computer, so much so that she spends all her time alone, absorbed in a dark and flat digital world. One day, Blip accidentally trips on her wire and becomes disconnected from her only sense of joy and amusement. She becomes worried and apprehensive as she tumbles outdoors, but before long, her misfortune leads her on a remarkable journey of exploration. Blip encounters an exciting and vibrant new world filled with real friends to keep her company, and endless authentic opportunities for learning. Only when she must return home late that night does Blip realize how much she loved and valued her time being unplugged.
Related Comments:
Unplugged is geared toward a younger audience and is effective both in design and storyline. While short and simple in length, the text is meaningful and uses figurative language to depict mood and setting. The parallel drawn between a life unplugged versus plugged in is a strong and intrinsic piece of the narrative, achieved simultaneously with text and imagery. Diverse audiences will make connections to the character and will be reminded, or perhaps warned, about the hazards and consequences of being lured into their technology devices. Several valuable cross-curricular learning opportunities can be explored when using the book as a springboard for discussion.
Genre:
Adventure
Contemporary
Fantasy
Picture book
Type:
picture book
Visual Highlights:
picture book

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS

Readability:
At intended grade level(s)
Comments:
Unplugged author/illustrator, Steve Antony, is well-known for writing the 'Mr. Panda' series, in addition to many other popular titles, some of which have been translated into various languages. Many classroom/library cross-curricular teaching ideas and lesson extensions can be found at this website from the United Kingdom: http://www.teachingideas.co.uk/library/books/unplugged Antony's work and contributions to the global literary community are notable.

SUGGESTED CLASSROOM USAGE

Comments:
This book can be used as a timely and engaging classroom read-aloud study for students in grades Pre-K-5. The clear message about taking time to experience life outside (literally) of the increasingly digital world we live in will be a great discussion point for students and adults alike. As a class, students can brainstorm all the things they could do outside, in nature, while 'unplugged'. As a teacher, one could create a classroom bucket list of outdoor adventures and fulfill them. Students can also use Antony's art as motivation for a project to study robots or black and white versus colour. The book could even inspire an 'unplugged' day and hopefully get families involved, too.
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