Project Gutenberg is an online repository of books that are out of copyright, and thus freely available for anyone to use. With over 30,000 books currently available, this site provides a great source for gratis reading material. However, more important than this, it provides a massive amount of text that can be mashed and remixed in any way you or your students can dream up. Free from the constraints of copyright, and available in unfettered digital form, why not try some of the following ideas:
- Use Wordle to create fantastic word clouds, which can be used to pick out themes or learn vocab.
- Give students part of a text and ask them to write an extension or introduction to it.
- Take a famous novel and come up with some crazy alternative endings.
- Use Flickr Storm (free photos) and Storybird (digital storytelling) to create a picturebook version of a text.
- Work as a class to produce an audio version of a book, publish it with Creative Commons and give it away on the web.
- Take a novel and remix it into a song, poem, play or game.
I am sure there are at least a hundred other uses for Project Gutenberg’s texts. Let me know if you can think of any, and I will include them in this list.