Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum

Teacher professional development and classroom resources across the curriculum

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In Search of the Novel:Teacher-TalkNovel


From: Cheryl A. Schober (schober@platteville.k12.wi.us)
Date: Wed Apr 12 2000 - 18:13:11 EDT

  • Next message: Andrea S. Martine: "Re: Class size and the Socratic seminar"

    I love your idea of combining novel reading with relevant research. I
    believe that any time a student can make a connection between what they
    have read and their world, learning definitely takes place.

    During the discussion groups, will the students come up with their own
    discussion topics or do you give them the discussion ideas? Do they get
    points for their contribution to the discussion session? Also, with the
    research project, do the students have to make reference to the novel at
    all in their paper?


    soliver@d20.co.edu writes:
    >There was some discussion about reading aloud in class or giving class
    >time for
    >students to read. I heartily agree that both should be allowed. I teach
    >grade and most of my students enjoy being read to. Many of them are slow
    >readers and find it helpful to hear the first page or so before I turn
    >loose to read on their own. It gives them a purpose for reading and I
    >leave off in a place where they want to keep reading. They keep at it
    >until the
    >end of the story or chapter. This also helps slow readers to follow
    >along with
    >the words. They can see and hear pronunciation and listen to how a
    >should be read.
    >I also agree that kids need time in class to read. They do have hectic
    >schedules and appreciate (usually) what time they are given. If they
    >misuse the
    >time, they don't get it in the near future.
    >One other idea. I just started a unit where I'm combining the reading of
    >novel with their research. I gave them a list of 12 novels from which
    >could choose. We have 10 of them as class sets, which I've taught
    >before. They
    >must choose a novel that 3 other people in class are also reading. That
    >they have a discussion group formed and we will meet in small groups
    >along the
    >way. Also they must base a research topic on that novel. For example:
    >Promises in the Wind by Irene Hunt. They could research teen runaways,
    >circus professions, the Great Depression, hobos and Hoovervilles, etc.
    >They can
    >choose any of the 12 novels and then select what topic they'll research
    >based on
    >that novel. The other titles include To Kill a Mockingbird, The Iceberg
    >(Roth), Words by Heart (Sebestyen), Woodsong (Paulsen), Call of the Wild
    >(London), Hound of the Baskervilles (Doyle), Eva (Dickinson), Beardance
    >Summer of My German Soldier (Greene), The Last Silk Dress (Rinaldi), and
    >Z for
    >Zachariah (O'Brien). This gives the students a feeling that they have
    >the novel and the topic and it's not being pushed down their throats. It
    >also (hopefully) give a chance for quieter students to voice an opinion
    >in a
    >small group that they wouldn't offer in front of the whole class. We'll
    >Any comments/suggestions?
    >Sue Oliver
    >Academy School District Twenty 20Mail

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