Today kids should be halfway through their novels. I like to do a check-in at this time in the form of an Entrance Ticket: Halfway Point. How would they rate their book? What are they enjoying most about their novel? Can they offer the author constructive criticism? This activity also reminds kids that the unit halfway over.
As they finish at different times, they can transition into silent reading and working independently on their discussion boxes, due tomorrow.
Towards the end of the year, when reading stamina is at its highest, I like to give a lot of time for independent reading and work. There is nothing like watching a classroom filled with kids totally engrossed in their work.
Here is one student work sample from the novel "Beneath My Mother's Feet" Discussion Box, Set 5 The main task will be for students to visualize their novels as they are reading, and then to choose the most powerful visual, find a quote, and illustrate.
As part of the work done to prepare for discussion, kids will need to review the concept of determining theme using the two big idea words. This was first explained during the Overcoming Obstacles Unit: Assessing Theme.
In this screen cast, kids show their understanding of the concept by finding two central idea words and applying them to their literature circle novels:
Today, I read aloud Iqbal simply for the enjoyment factor. Students attach so deeply to this narrative and begged for me to continue. The last we time we read, we read with a strict purpose, to find a contrast and contradiction moment. This time, I just wanted them to listen and enjoy.