Tuesday, February 4, 2014

5 Novel Ideas for Novel Studies

Book Report Schmook Report

Ban the boring book reports!  Even I, a self-proclaimed nerd and dubbed a "worm in the book" by my young daughters, recoil at the idea of reading a book and writing a report on it. Therefore, I pledge to shield my children from such a mundane chore for the sake of learning.

Here are my ideas for studying a book:

Pick Up a Book

  • Look Locally:  Seek out local authors of past or present and titles that are set in your area. 
  • Classic Beauty:  The classics are timeless for a reason.
  • Animal Antics:  I have found that the primary grades enjoy tales with animals for characters.  
  • Library Limelight:  Which books are currently featured by your local library?

Note:  always screen the books my children read, and I highly recommend you do the same.  An award or a spot on the bestseller list does not mean it is automatically included in our curriculum.  The book must fall within our personal content boundaries.

Read It

I read aloud the books I want to make sure the kids are exposed to.  I have not encountered one yet that they have not wanted to read again on their own.  I let them choose their own free time reading materials (with approval, of course.)

Engage

Here are 5 activities that have been kid tested and approved here at Mrs. Redd's Classroom:
  • Set the Scene:  If your book is based in your locality you probably have most of the work done for you since most communities offer resources that celebrate their homegrown authors. If not, try to connect your surroundings to the setting of the book in some way.

  • Paint a Picture: Demonstrate how words paint pictures in your mind by reading aloud a descriptive section of your book and have the kids paint a picture of what they "see" as you read. Make it 3D with a diorama or model.

  • Mind Games:  Use vocabulary words for spelling bees, bingo games, mad libs and dictionary dash.  Act out scenes in charades or picitionary.  

  • What If:  Ask "What if...?" at plot twists and rewrite the ending or draw what might have happened.

  • Create a Collage:  Take a piece of cardboard and collect anything and everything that could possibly pertain to the book and glue it on there.  This is an excellent way to use up some of those miscellaneous toys, puzzle and game pieces you find scattered about.  We have a "Missing Pieces" jar for such projects.  

Class Discussion

How do you breathe life into the books your kids read? Please share!


Happy Homeschooling!
Mrs. Redd

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