Novel Studies Plans

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by Upsadaisy, Jul 1, 2012.

  1. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Jul 1, 2012

    For anyone who wants ideas on a general novel study plan that I used in the past. Probably best for 4th and 5th.


    Here is a plan that worked well for my class this past year with a read-aloud:


    Students kept a reader response journal. They wrote in it daily. They each had a copy of the book (they had to buy it). They were not allowed to read ahead or start it on their own.

    First, we previewed the book, the title, the author's name, cover illustration. We predicted what the book was about. I kept a chart on the wall to record predictions. Then, we read the back cover which had a brief summary. The kids wrote in their journals about any questions they had, what they wanted to know. I recorded questions on the chart paper. This was done in two sessions.

    I made charts for recording names of characters, descriptions of characters, settings. We kept adding to the charts as we read. We updated the predictions chart as we proved or disproved our predictions.

    The next lesson was about how to use the reader response journal. Every day of reading, they dated the page before writing. They were to keep it open while they read, jot down questions they had, things they wondered about, conclusions they could draw, emotional responses, words they did not understand, and (their favorite) figurative language. (Tie in to language arts lesson on figurative language.)

    Each day, the kids read one chapter (they were short, you might have to limit it to a certain number of pages if the chapters are long) silently. They wrote in their response journals.

    Chart paper for vocab words was kept up until the book was done. I listed the words and page numbers for each days reading. Sometimes we projected the definitions before the kids read a chapter. I gave them pages for recording vocab words and definitions - just made it on the computer with appropriate lines. They used the dictionary to find the definitions after reading silently.

    When everyone had finished reading and recording, I read the same chapter aloud while they followed along. This could take place at any time later that day. We stopped and discussed at appropriate spots. We updated charts. Each student shared their favorite parts (which they had noted in their journals), and interesting language (words, phrases, similes, metaphors). This turned out to be their absolute favorite part of the discussions, which surprised me.


    On most days, I posted a question of the day (or two or three) on the board. They had to answer the question in their journals. Their answers had to contain the question and be in complete sentences. I encouraged them to cite the page number and/or a quote from the chapter which helped them.

    Sometimes, I had them draw a particular scene, or even a vivid use of language right in their journals. They loved this, too. You could also ask them to make short comic strips of chapters, write letters to characters giving advice, write 'found' poems using words they found in the novel, compare characters to themselves...... there is no end to all the opportunities!
     
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  3. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Jul 1, 2012

    Thanks for this, Upsadaisy! I'm moving down to grade 5/6 next year and need all the ideas I can get.
     
  4. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Jul 1, 2012

    :thumb:
     
  5. Tyler B.

    Tyler B. Groupie

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    Jul 2, 2012

    Upsadaisy, I really like this information. Thanks for posting.

    I might add that in our class, part of every whole-class novel study includes trying to write 100 words that seem like the author wrote them. We study the author's word choices and make collections of verbs, power words and phrases. We graph studies of the author's sentence lengths and try to figure out the effect of the various sentence lengths on the story.

    In the end, we have a contest to see who can spot the real author's words and who is tricked by our writings. It gets the parents involved.

    Our school uses LBW:http://www.mthoodpress.com/page2/page2.html





    Favorite Teacher Blog:
    http://ed-is-life.blogspot.com/
     
  6. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Jul 2, 2012

    I love that, Tyler B. Wish I still had a classroom.
     

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