There are two things taking place during the first part of this class period today. Students will all be asked to work on a particular task while I call them up, table-by-table in order to put together their Novel booklets. This booklet includes activities related to vocabulary and context, comprehension and interpretation questions, character analysis, literary devices, and a timeline of events. This booklet will act as a guide for the students as we work through the novel.
The task the students are working on during this process is to share with a partner what they wrote about in the previous day's homework assignment. They will take turns speaking and listening. They then are expected to talk about what they heard the other say.
We move from the shareouts to a short session taking notes. I have the students set up Cornell Notes in their ISNs in preparation for the presentation/lecture. I use the powerpoint to walk them through the Utopia vs Dystopia Powerpoint. The discussion that happens throughout the process of taking these notes varies from class to class and is based entirely on the types of books that students have read and are familiar with. A majority of the students in my classes have read the Hunger Games series, and many have also read The Giver, so I tend to make references to these novels, but I also give the students opportunities to share about other books and stories they have read. I know there are lots of ways I can connect this to other Bradbury stories we've read, but I like to save those connections for later on in the novel study, when we look at common threads in his style and approach.
Included also in the presentation are some images that I ask the students to apply close reading strategies to. This process gets them to look at individual aspects more carefully, while all-the-while building a stronger overall concept of how the various components work together. The images allow the kids to interact more with the presentation while developing a better overall conceptualization of this topic as they apply their prior and new knowledge to each.
We have a class set of the novel available to us, so I have to provide time in class for students to read. This process makes the novel study booklet that each student will work within very important. The novel is naturally divided into 3 sections, but I split it into four specific sections by splitting the first official section into two parts. I believe this process makes each piece more manageable and approachable for the students, particularly my students who tend to struggle more with reading.
Before the students are to begin reading, I ask them to complete a vocabulary activity in ther booklets. The vocabulary activity requires them to look at various terms, utilized in sentences, and then to express what they think the word means using the context clues provided. There is also a section at the end of the activity where students match the term to the definition in a crossword puzzle format. I often like to preview and grapple with potentially difficult and/or unfamiliar vocabulary prior to running into it during reading.
Students will then have the remaining time in the class period to focus on the first reading assignment. They are very unlikely to complete the reading assignment in the time remaining, but most will get a nice start on it.
I do no t make it mandatory, but I highly recommend to the students to answer any questions they can in their novel booklet for this first reading assignment as they read. I also remind the students, before they head out, that I will be stamping their vocabulary activity at the beginning of the next class based on completion.