Students independently read the novel outside of class, The View from Saturday by E.L. Konigsburg over a three week period. Each week students were responsible for reading one-third of the book and completing weekly assignments. I provided Theme Analysis Chart that demonstrated their understanding of the book. Students also analyzed the style of writing and influence that the writing had on the plot using Analyzing Author's Craft. The final culminating activity was a one-pager.
A one-pager can be as simple or complicated as you desire. It is similar to collage but words can be included. However, the page needs to be completely covered with relevant information about the selected topic. I've used this with numerous stories (novels, short stories, etc) to quickly assess students comprehension.
With my help, as a class we divided the novel into three sections that would be read over a three week period. Students notated the pages and due dates for reading.
Theme Analysis Chart was assigned on week one and due on the final day. I explained to students that as they read, they need to recognize universal topics of theme occurring throughout the book. These topics addresssed kindness, friendship and loyalty, and sensitivity to social issues. A discussion of the term "Social Issues" was necessary for students. Many thought it meant being friendly.
As they read, they recorded examples of the topic supported by textual evidence. As a class we discussed the importance of locating examples and evidence from the beginning (week 1), middle (week 2), and ending (week 3). They also were responsible for recording a personal connection to the topic. This needed to be a specific incident - not I have a friend too! At the end, they determined a theme that was applicable to the textual evidence provided.
At this point I also explained about the major assignment - One-Pager. I assigned this at week one, but due as the culminating project. This project exhibited the students' understanding of the four protagonists and their character's development. We reviewed the requirements. I also provided an example from previous year's students.
A one-pager can be as simple or complicated as you desire. It is similar to collage but words can be included. However, the page needs to be completely covered with information about the selected topic.
The Theme Analysis and One-pager was due at the end of the fourth week, so students could truly evaluate and create a detailed analysis of the novel.
The topic of the second week’s requirement was “Analyzing Author’s Craft.” With this, I wanted students to notice the language the author used in her writing. The suggestions included figurative language, use of details, message being conveyed.
Students addressed this as they read the middle of the book because the value and influence of the style of writing would be evident at this point. This was the second week's assignment due at the end of Week 2.
During this explanation, I also provide time for students to clarify and questions they might have about the Theme Analysis Chart or the One-Pager.
In the third week, I had students address Dynamic and Static characters located throughout the novel. This was supported with textual evidence demonstrated from the beginning and the end of the novel which indicated how characters changed or remained the same. I reminded them that one example of a character changing does not make a dynamic character; the overall change of the character's personality must be considered. This assignment was due at the end of Week 3.
The Theme Analysis and One-pager was due the following week, so students could truly evaluate and create a detailed analysis of the novel.