Hunting for Treasure

"There is more treasure in books than in all the pirate's loot on Treasure Island."–Walt Disney

Tuck Everlasting and literary elements-post-reading activity March 30, 2010

One of the novels we read as a whole class this year was Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt.  This is such a beautifully written novel.  It is a wonderful book to use for teaching theme, foreshadowing and conflict.  It’s also an excellent example of how an author effectively uses figurative language.

As a post-reading activity, I placed the class into small groups of 3, and gave each group a different literary element to represent through a poster.  The groups used their chapter summary maps (something I discovered in a Fountas and Pinnell book, Guiding Readers and Writers) to help them, as well as their notes on the literary elements.  After they were finished with their posters, each group presented to the class.

This was one of those impromptu activities that popped into my mind, and it turned out to be a great success.  It was simple, but worthwhile. It was a good way to review the story, and what I really liked about it was that my students had to refer to the notes they had been taking throughout the reading to complete the assignment.  I don’t know if anyone else has this problem, but my students are still learning how to use their resources, so the requirement of having to go back and use their notes was good reinforcement for them.  As I was rotating to visit with groups, I was impressed with their dialogue with regard to the novel and their assigned literary element.  I was able to gauge who understood and who was struggling.  I will definitely use this as a post-reading activity again!  Maybe I will change it up by offering the groups an option to present in another format besides a poster, such as a skit or a poem.

Click on the link below to see a few of the finished products that made it home with me over the weekend!

http://www.scribd.com/doc/29202344/Tuck-Everlasting-Literary-Elements-Photos

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exhausted but excited—parent conferences a SUCCESS! November 5, 2009

thumbs upIt’s 7:30, and I just got home from night two of parent conferences.  My team partner and I had about 60% of our kids represented….that’s terrific for middle school!  As exhausted as I am, I’m also excited about how well conferences went.  My efforts on teaching my kids how to choose books for themsleves, as well as my focus on matching books to kids has been working!  I had a number of parents comment on how they’ve noticed changes in their child’s attitude about reading.  They’ve noticed more reading at home and requests for purchasing specific titles.  I was so happy to get this news, and motivated to continue on the path I’ve been on.  I still have a few nuts to crack, but tonight I received a lot of feedback from parents on possible ways to do the “cracking”!  I also plan  to reread the advice Janet Allen gives about the “I’d rather” and “I don’t care” readers in Yellow Brick Roads:  Shared and Guided Paths to Independent Reading 4-12.  It is my goal to guide my “I’d rather” and “I don’t care” readers into a love for reading.  It can be done!