How Do I teach a novel unit? - ProTeacher Community


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How Do I teach a novel unit?
Old 08-26-2008, 07:46 PM
 
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This is my first year teaching a higher level group in Reading. Typically novels are done with this group. I'm a third year 3rd grade teacher and have used the basal as a guide in previous years. What kinds of activities should I do? Where do I start? How can I help increase their comprehension? I have a few ideas but I'd love some help!


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bensonsmom bensonsmom is offline
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Maybe an idea...
Old 08-26-2008, 08:01 PM
 
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I taught novel units to 5th and 6th graders. The way I did this was I either read a few chapters aloud or had them silent read the chapters. If you have a class set both options are available. If you only have a copy, then you'll have to read it. Here is my weekly example:
Day 1: Read ch. 1-3; assign various vocabulary (could be new words found in the book that they don't know or parts of the book or story)
Day 2: Small group discussion; put kids in groups of 6-7 and pull them aside to "discuss in detail" the chapters read. The students still at their desks will need some type of work. (This could relate to the novel or just to a reading class)
Day 3: Read ch. 4-6; assign vocabulary
Day 4: Small group discussion and seat work (they could work on that vocabulary)
Day 5: whole group discussion about ch. 1-6 and maybe a short quiz or question sheet.

When I did small group discussion I had read the chapters ahead of time and found questions I wanted to ask before I met with the groups. I wrote the questions on post-its and put them on the page the answer was on. I asked questions that used comprehension and also questions like... Which sentence is a metaphor, simile, etc.

(Sorry this is so long!) When I was done with the book, we usually did a group book project and took a comprehension test (The cool thing was that I used the questions from the post-its for my test questions!) I hope this helps.
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Old 08-26-2008, 11:04 PM
 
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Go to Beth Newingham's site (just Google her name). She has MANY resources for getting kids into Lit groups to discuss books. I love her THICK and THIN questions. I think that groups of 6 or 7 is actually too big for good discussion groups. In my class, I try to do 3 to 5. Besides the normal vocab, discuss, comprehension, spice it up with some activities that are cross curricular. Create a map of the character's adventure, create an advertisement for something in the book, make a painting, a venn diagram comparing themselves to the main character then write a compare/contrast paragraph, write a friendly letter to a character offering advice. You could also google the title of the book and there are several THEMATIC units available on the web for FREE to several titles. There are so many great generous teachers out there who have put their hard work out there for us to use.
You could also have the kids look for 10 new words in the book and then use the theas. to find their synonym. Think about what you already need to teach and then tie it to the book.
-g
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Thanks.
Old 08-27-2008, 05:58 PM
 
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Thanks so much! I really appreciate it! This is exactly what I needed.
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How to Teach a Novel
Old 04-16-2009, 07:50 PM
 
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How to Teach a Novel provides a great step-by-step approach; there you can also request a whole packet that includes lots of resources and links.


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