Help! First Whole Class Novel Study

Discussion in 'Third Grade' started by time out, Feb 21, 2013.

  1. time out

    time out Comrade

    Feb 6, 2011
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    Feb 21, 2013

    So this is my first year teaching third grade. One of my colleagues told me that many teachers conduct novel studies after the FCAT. I thought this was a great idea and she even loaned me a class set of books - Frindle! - which I completely adore, by the way.

    I'm a bit unsure of how to approach this novel study. I know that most whole class novel studies consist of vocabulary, comprehension and journaling. I wonder if this is the right approach. How do I keep the students accountable for their reading without making it tedious? I need to find the right balance.

    I read an article that stated that students should genuinely be interested and excited about reading the book. I then read another article that presented an interesting point of view. For the majority of students, they will be reading the selected book for the very first time so they will be reading it with the mindset of What's going to happen next?, whereas, teachers will be looking for deeper interactions with the text because it will be a repeated reading for us.

    That same article stated that most of the questions that teachers ask during a novel study do not inspire a real discussion of the text. It's more of a contrived discussion.

    What innovative ways have you conducted novel studies in your classroom? Would love to hear about them! Thanks :)
  3. cateste

    cateste Companion

    Oct 24, 2008
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    Mar 27, 2013

  4. oFutureTeachero

    oFutureTeachero Rookie

    Mar 11, 2013
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    Mar 28, 2013

    I'm not sure if this directly relates but you may consider using literature circles. I love using LC's because they are very flexible. You would divide the students up into small groups (4 or 5 works best) and each student is given a role. The roles change each time the LC meets (which doesn’t need to be every day). There is a TON of research on what kinds of roles to choose but many of them are designed to elicit higher order discussions. My personal favorite role for elementary level texts is the Travel Chaser (the names can be changed to be more relevant to your classroom). This role requires the reader to keep track of the setting and how it changes in that section of reading.

    By using LC you are giving the students a specific purpose for reading. Then, they get into their circles and each share their role with their group. Each students knows they are responsible for their role and thus they HAVE to read, they can’t get away with sitting behind another student like in a whole class instruction.

    I know you said you already had a class set of books but we use this strategy where each group gets to choose a book from a designated list so each group is reading something different! They really like that because it is far less repetitive. However, by using the same book you are able to split the study between whole class discussion and LC.

    Just thought I'd share that because it seemed relatable!
  5. CFClassroom

    CFClassroom Connoisseur

    Aug 9, 2008
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    Mar 31, 2013

    I would cluster them into smaller groups or do a read aloud. It's hard t find a text at the 3rd grade level that is right for all your readers. With that being said, Frindle is a great book for the age. I always do lots of word study extensions since the book gets them excited about vocabulary.

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