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JanieS 02-23-2019 11:23 PM

How long for novel study?
I'm wondering how long other teachers spend on novel studies. I feel like mine drag out too long, but it's hard to get through everything. Especially by the time you add in some type of project or assessment at the end. Then of course it seems like there's always an assembly, a day off, or something else that interrupts! For longer novels I sometimes spend 8 weeks. I'd love to know if this is typical.

ajmom 02-24-2019 06:24 AM

Novel Study
We are doing book clubs this year and my 5th graders typically spend about 4-5 weeks on a book. I give them at least 20 minutes a day for independent reading, 4 days a week. They are not allowed to take the books home, but I know that some students have checked their book out of the library so they can keep up with the reading.

KatieViolet 02-24-2019 06:33 AM

I do think 8 weeks is too long. I was always taught that the actual reading of the book shouldn’t take more than a week-2 weeks depending on length. I typically introduce the book and assign chapters so that we are done with it in less than two weeks (we can do it in one of its shorter)

But then we might spend another two weeks discussing/rereading specific paragraphs and doing projects/assessment. So it’s typically 4, maybe 5 weeks in total. You’re right that other stuff easily interrupts! I have also pared back on some extraneous activities because I think it does drag the book out to become less enjoyable if you spend so long studying it!

JanieS 02-27-2019 09:36 PM

Thanks to both of you! I agree that taking too long can kill the book. But, how in the world do you do all the skills that go along with the book in just a few weeks? Do you read the whole thing and then do the accompanying work? I typically teach skills along the way so that the kids can use the book to practice the skills. Plus there's vocab too. If it's a lengthy/challenging novel, like The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle, how do you do it all in one or two weeks? I really appreciate your input!

Sam5 03-06-2019 10:13 AM

Most of the research I have read says 3 weeks. I realize this seems fast but teachers tend to "kill" a book by assigning too much written work and not enough just reading and discussing. Try to cut out as much of the"fat" as possible. My students spent most of their time reading with a short discussion sheet to fill in every day and then a quick 10-15 minute discussion with their group. I did expect them to spend some time outside of class reading.

JanieS 03-06-2019 04:04 PM

Thanks! Do you have an example of the discussion sheet you mentioned? Thanks!

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