The nuts and bolts of novel study

Discussion in 'Third Grade' started by DaMaddHatter, Jul 13, 2009.

  1. DaMaddHatter

    DaMaddHatter Rookie

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    Jul 13, 2009

    I have never been completely clear about doing a novel with third graders. Do you all just read and have the kids listen? Do you read and have them follow along? Do you do "round-robin" reading? What do you do to supplement the reading?

    By the way, I have been reading A Strong Right Arm with my kids this summer (third graders going into fourth). It is a biography about a woman who pitched in the old Negro leagues back in the '50's. It is very good and not that difficult. Plus, the woman (Mamie Johnson) is still alive, so you could write letters to her or other such things. Also, I found a site that many of you may know about called Better World Books. They have MANY used books, including educational resource books, PLUS they have FREE shipping! It makes a big difference!
     
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  3. TeacherShelly

    TeacherShelly Aficionado

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    Jul 13, 2009

    Well, I don't have the nuts & bolts of novel study but I wanted to thank you for the book recommendation. I teach 2nd/3rd grade. Next year I am doing the theme of Dream (http://legacyproject.org/) and the book you recommend will be a great first read aloud for the year. In the book, according to Amazon, Mamie Johnson says, "Do you have a dream? If you don't, maybe my story will get you started working on one. If you do, darling, you're already halfway to making it come true."
     
  4. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Jul 13, 2009

    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 2 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!

    Have fun with it.
     
  5. amakaye

    amakaye Enthusiast

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    Jul 13, 2009

    Upsadaisy, I love the idea of having them read it first and then read it aloud and discuss the same day! I'll definitely be trying that strategy next year :)
     
  6. 2Teach_is_2Care

    2Teach_is_2Care Rookie

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    Jul 22, 2009

    When doing a novel study, are you doing this as a whole class or is your class split into groups that work on the same or different books? Also, are you using a basal or just the novels to teach the different skills (or both)?
     
  7. HeatherY

    HeatherY Habitué

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    Dec 5, 2009

    I am wondering what grade level you did this with. (I know this thread is old). I want to do something with my third graders and we have limited resources. I found a class set of charlie and the chocolate factory and I was hoping that might work. Anyone read that with third grade? I like the idea of reading it aloud later. I have such limited reading time- about 40 minutes a day. It feels so short.
     
  8. amakaye

    amakaye Enthusiast

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    Dec 5, 2009

    Heather, I have been using parts of Upsadaisy's plan with 3rd graders. We have been reading The Whipping Boy.

    I haven't read Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, but I did just finish reading aloud James and the Giant Peach. They absolutely loved it, and many checked out Roald Dahl books from the library.
     
  9. HeatherY

    HeatherY Habitué

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    Dec 7, 2009

    Can you explain what you are doing?
     
  10. amakaye

    amakaye Enthusiast

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    Dec 7, 2009

    I re-read the previous post, and realized that we are doing pretty much what Upsadaisy wrote. They read the section (usually about 6-10 pages) either silently or with a partner. Sometimes this is homework, as we've been running a bit behind lately. While they read, they write down notes like she described (we modeled together the first few chapters. Sometimes, I'll put them in "book clubs" to discuss their predictions, questions, etc. after reading. I always read the chapter aloud after they do; especially with this book as the dialogue can get a little difficult. Sometimes I give them vocabulary to find and define; Some days I have them pick some of the words they didn't know in their reading to look up and use in a sentence. We have a quiz after every 5 sections or so.

    My kids LOVE looking for interesting language. I introduced similes with the book, and they are always on the look-out for them as well. Especially if you go with Roald Dahl, they'll find some really neat words!

    One consideration is that I have all very strong readers. If you have some that struggle, you might want to meet with a small group to read with/to them during reading time (in the past I have let students choose to read with me or alone--most of the strugglers chose to read with me, along with a few others--but you could always let them know ahead of time that they should come with your group).
     

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