Sample Digital Bin

Sample Bin: Symbolism

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Digital Bins are digital text sets. Whether you’re at the beginning of a unit or anywhere inbetween, these digital text sets can help your students practice and strengthen their interpretation skills. One way we use Digital Bins is when teaching literary elements.

This is a sample Digital Bin for symbolism. Download the “Digital Bins Guided Questions” and students can explore the bin and actively

Screen shot 2014-03-03 at 6.30.25 PMread the texts for symbolism. If you are launching your study of symbolism,check out our minilesson suggestions. For more information about Digital Bins, see below. Also, in Teaching Interpretation: Using Text-Based Evidence to Construct Meaning, you’ll find more information and access to digital bins we’ve created.


Owen and Mzee

Video Clips

Disney’s “Let it Go”

Pixar’s “LaLuna”

Song Lyrics

Beatles “Here Comes the Sun”


Ikea “Lamp”

What are Digital Bins?

Digital Bins are digital text sets. We love using text sets in our classrooms to teach reading strategies, close reading, nonfiction & fiction reading, and of course, constructing interpretations. 

A Digital Bin is a collection of digital text sets related to a topic. Just like book bins, students and teachers can go to the bin for texts related to a specific genre, topic, or theme. We like to think of Digital Bins as “living folders” because they are not simply static collections but are constantly changing and growing.

What’s in a Digital Bin?

A Digital Bin contains links. These links are connected to digital texts online such as websites, photographs, primary sources, video clips, audio, etc. Digital Bins can also contain links to the classroom blog, wiki, GoogleDocs, etc. We recommend using 3-6 digital texts when creating a Digital Bin text set.

3 Easy Steps for Creating Digital Bins:

1) What will you use for your “bin”? We’ve found that the best ways to create Digital Bins are photo-13on GoogleDocs, desktop folders, flash drives, and blogs pages.

2) Label your “bin” and create a collection of links to digital texts that relate to the bin’s label. For example, you might create a bin about symbolism (like above), theme, a historical time period, etc.

3) Share your Digital Bin with your students. You can share your bins via a link, flash drive, or computer desktop folder. For students using iPads, we like to use QR codes to connect them easily and quickly to bins that are on GoogleDocs, blogs, or class websites. A tip for using bins with small groups or individuals is to hang the QR codes on the wall for students to access. We even like putting them on Post-its, so they can be mobile.

Digital Bins are “living folders.” This means that it is a collaborative process and you will provide ways for students to contribute to the bins as well. For more information on Digital Bins, how to use them, and to gain access to additional digital bins we’ve created, pick up a copy of Teaching Interpretation: Using Text-Based Evidence to Construct Meaning by Sonja Cherry-Paul and Dana Johansen.


3 thoughts on “Sample Digital Bin

  1. Pingback: Digital Reader’s Notebooks | LitLearnAct

  2. I have really enjoyed using your ideas in my classroom since I saw you present in Providence. I saw the video the present over the weekend and immediately thought of you putting it in a digital bin. Can’t wait to see what ideas you all come up with for it.


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