I am going to start doing this book for a novel study. Does anyone have any ideas as far as activities per chapter. I am doing the typical vocabulary and comprehension, but I would like to have them do an activity for every chapter as well. Help!
I detest this book--couldn't even finish it. I found it preachy and long, not to mention unbelievable--BUT my boys absolutely adore it. Every year, I bring it out, gagging, and every year, I have boys telling me they just couldn't put it down.
Since I couldn't even make myself finish it, I didn't finish the novel curriculum I was writing for it, and I'm not interested enough in it to look for anything on the internet. What I do is just have them write me letters about it--what was most interesting, or surprising? What was the theme? The personification of that badger is a good thing to bring out and talk about. The falcon, Frightful, is important. I found that I can teach this novel without reading it. I'm happy and they're happy.
My point in all of this is that the boys like this book so much that they write fairly enthusiastically about it. It's a good chance to incorporate good writing instruction with reading instruction. Too often, reading instruction involves "activities." We should be having kids write about what they read, more often than we have them do "activities." Particularly as children move into upper grades, writing about reading becomes far more important than completing activities. My Side of the Mountain makes it pretty easy to do that.
One word of warning--very few girls tolerate this book well. Could they read something else if they don't like this one?
I also taught this book and the kids ended up enjoying the enrichment activities---we listened to the book on tape (I also had some problems reading it for three blocks a day). However, we had so much fun with the enrichment activities(Problem/Solution). In small groups, the students were given various 'survival situations.' They had to imagine they were in a similar environment as Sam trying to survive as a group (we researched the Catskill Mountains in Sullivan County). Each day they were given various situations to address as a group. Each student kept a journal/ log of their adventure----it was fun. (If you can believe it, one weekend some of my 6th grade girls camped out in their backyards with NO CELLPHONES or technology to get the 'real experience--I was SHOCKED!) We also watched a video of Survivor Man to help set the scene.
Most of the Chapter Questions were taken from Enotes. . I'm not sure of the proper web address. I'm trying to figure out how to attach links on this site; I have a BINDER full of chapter questions/ discussion questions, etc. This is my first time posting with links.
I'll try to figure it out.
Something I'm doing with my novel study of a different book is a journal. Each student created a journal of paper and construction paper. They need one sheet per chapter. Each chapter I assign needs to have the following 4 things to "complete" it. 1. Read the assigned chapter and create good "thinking" discussion questions for the group to share. 2. write words than are new, different, funny, etc. and the definition. 3. Draw a picture of something from the chapter and a caption or sentence summary to go with it. 4. Answer the day's novel question that I post on the board. They have to read the chapter or skim it REALLY well in order to answer it.
In the past when I did Call of the Wild I wrote a list of choices and the students picked the 4 items to go with each chapter. Some of the choices were things like, create poem about the chapter, write a letter to Jack London, recreate the chapter in comic book form, create a "missing" poster for Buck, etc.
I have found that when I get them involved by allowing them to choose (the assignments, or vocab), they seem to get more out of it than when I just create the assignments and expect them to complete it as instructed.
Good luck and have fun - it can be a very rewarding experience for all readers!
I believe your students would love to name rename the capters of the book whenever you run into a new chapter.But you also should make them draw a picture that is kind of the theme of that chapter with their summary under or above this coloring or doodle.I believe they will like this becuase I myself am a student giving teachers advice about their students and what beter advice than an actuall student's correct! Also my class and I are reading this book as well and the activity I have stated above would be a real great time for me and most likley other students to,esspecially during this interesting book.
I noticed your idea about teaching "My side of the Mountain" and loved it! Could you send it to me as an attachment? It is my first year teaching and I am definately sinking with all of this work!!
Last edited by valarie0; 10-22-2009 at 05:04 PM..
Reason: it went to the wrong person
was have the kids write a "house for sale" ad. We looked at examples of house ads, discussed adjectives etc and then they wrote their own. This was 15 years or so ago, but I thought it had it's merits for descriptive writing and describing the setting.