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teacherino 12-06-2017 07:20 AM

Teaching with Novels
Hello all--I'm trying to change up my reading block to use novels instead of picture books as mentor texts. My goal is to use a part of the book to work on whatever the focus skill is and then leave the book so the kids can read it independently if they're so inclined. Does anyone else do this or something like this? I'm looking for any feedback, suggestions, experiences, etc. Thank you!

GiantSubs 12-07-2017 02:38 AM

I don't do that, but I
do use novels every quarter for an in depth novel study. I have 3 groups working in 3 leveled novels, and they do a variety of activities with it. I'm not sure this was helpful, but I like using novels in small group because the kids get to discuss it. It's interesting to see what connections they make.

cruxian 12-09-2017 07:31 AM

Huh. I can see how this idea would be kinda like a book talk to get the kids excited about the book while using the book to model the lesson.
I use novels a couple ways: sometimes I use one as a read-aloud. Often. Then I use them frequently in small guided reading groups. I find kids don't always read the books that I think they should during their independent reading time so we do them together. Sometimes it's because they're not aware of the good books while at other times they don't feel confident enough to attack the books.
Sometimes I'll use a sentence or two as a writing model. I used the opening of the One and Only Ivan as a beginning of a writing prompt: "I am Ivan. I am a gorilla. It's not as easy as it looks." They had to model it off that: I am ____. I am ______. It's not as easy as it looks." I gave an explanation of the book and some kids were intrigued enough to read it.
I admit that I generally still use picture books for specific lessons. I can envision using a passage from a text to model an idea....I guess it would depend upon the lesson you needed to teach.

KatieViolet 12-16-2017 02:55 PM

This is basically the format of our textbooks—it has selected chapters from novels like Number the Stars and Hatchet, etc. it has a focus skill they use for each selection to teach using the text. I don’t care for it a lot because you lose a lot of meaning and context when you selectively pull a chapter out of a novel, but most teachers in intermediate at my school use it. Depending on the skill it sometimes work better or worse. And sometimes they do go on to read the whole book.

I typically only use the textbook if it’s a nonfiction selection. The. I choose 4-5 novels a year that are selected in or textbook and we read the whole book together, applying those skills and others as we read.

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