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In Search of the Novel:Teacher-TalkNovel

Subject: Re: Reading in class

From: Cindy O'Donnell-Allen (cindyoa@lamar.colostate.edu)
Date: Wed Apr 12 2000 - 18:21:04 EDT


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Sue,

What will the culminating project be? For instance, will they be making
presentations to the rest of the class on their research and their novel reading?

- Cindy

Sue Oliver wrote:

> 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 8th
> 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 them
> loose to read on their own. It gives them a purpose for reading and I usually
> 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 sentence
> 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 the
> novel with their research. I gave them a list of 12 novels from which they
> 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 way
> 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: No
> Promises in the Wind by Irene Hunt. They could research teen runaways, gangs,
> 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 Hermit
> (Roth), Words by Heart (Sebestyen), Woodsong (Paulsen), Call of the Wild
> (London), Hound of the Baskervilles (Doyle), Eva (Dickinson), Beardance (Hobbs),
> 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 chosen
> the novel and the topic and it's not being pushed down their throats. It will
> 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 see.
> Any comments/suggestions?
>
> Sue Oliver
>
> ---------------------------------------------
> Academy School District Twenty 20Mail

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