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Rethinking the whole class novel


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Refreshed version of previous presentation on whole class novels with new information.

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Rethinking the whole class novel

  1. 1. Rethinking the Whole Class Novel Donalyn Miller
  2. 2. @donalynbooks
  3. 3. What are the benefits of whole class novels?
  4. 4. What are the drawbacks to whole class novels?
  5. 5. “…students are not reading more or better as a result of the whole-class novel. Instead, students are reading less and are less motivated, less engaged, and less likely to read in the future.” —Douglas Fisher and Gay Ivey, "Farewell to Farewell to Arms: De- Emphasizing the Whole Class Novel"
  6. 6. Whole Class Novel Benefits Provides a common text for instructional purposes and reference. Assures that students read at least a few books. Exposes students to works with cultural, historical, or literary significance.
  7. 7. Whole Class Novel Concerns No single text can meet the reading levels or interests of the wide range of readers in a classroom. Novel units take too long. Students cannot read enough to develop strong literacy skills. Extensions and fun activities reduce authentic reading, writing, and thinking.
  8. 8. How can we reap the benefits of teaching a whole class novel, and minimize the concerns?
  9. 9. If your culture or curriculum requires reading a whole class novel…
  10. 10. Shorten the amount of time you spend reading the book.
  11. 11. Strip units of activities like projects and vocabulary work.
  12. 12. Alternate whole class novel units with independent reading units.
  13. 13. Use read alouds and shared reading, particularly with difficult text.
  14. 14. Provide students time to read in class and receive support from you.
  15. 15. If you are not required to teach specific books…
  16. 16. Design instruction around genres, themes, literary elements, or comprehension strategies.
  17. 17. Differentiation (Tomlinson, 2000) Content Process Product Learning Environment
  18. 18. Allowing students to choose their own texts fosters engagement and increases reading motivation and interest. --Gambrell, Coding, & Palmer (1996); Worthy & McKool (1996); Guthrie & Wigfield (2000)
  19. 19. Motivation Background Knowledge Reading Level Matching Readers to Text
  20. 20. SAMPLE UNIT Dystopian Science Fiction
  21. 21. Modeling Teacher identifies characteristics of dystopian societies, and reads aloud Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games as a mentor text. Teacher identifies and reinforces characteristics when encountered in the book.
  22. 22. Guided Practice Through class discussion and written responses, students analyze the dystopian society in The Hunger Games.
  23. 23. Independent Practice Students select another dystopian science fiction book and apply the same analysis. Students compare their own books to The Hunger Games.
  24. 24. Use common texts like short stories, articles, and book chapters for modeling and teaching.
  25. 25. SAMPLE UNIT Suspense and Foreshadowing
  26. 26. Modeling Teachers defines suspense and foreshadowing, and reads aloud, “The Escape.” Using a think aloud, teacher identifies and evaluates moments of suspense and foreshadowing.
  27. 27. Guided Practice Students and teacher share read, “The Monkey’s Paw.” Students identify, evaluate and discuss moments of suspense and foreshadowing.
  28. 28. Independent Practice Students read “The Landlady” and “Grave Danger.” Students identify and evaluate moments of suspense and foreshadowing.
  29. 29. Independent Practice Students record and evaluate moments of foreshadowing and suspense in several chapters of their independent novels.
  30. 30. Create guiding questions or independent practice that can be used with any book.
  31. 31. 27 Dust Bowl Reading Ladder Reading Ladders (Lesesne, 2010)
  32. 32. Guiding Questions for Examining Historical Events Who are the people in your text? How did they get involved in ___________? What were the short term consequences for them? What were the long term consequences?
  33. 33. Sample Unit Nonfiction Text Features
  34. 34. Modeling Teacher reads aloud Mosquito Bite. Using a think aloud, teacher identifies text features and describes how text features enhance the book and increase comprehension.
  35. 35. Guided Practice Students and teacher share read several nonfiction articles. Students preview the articles, make predictions, and evaluate how the text features enhance comprehension.
  36. 36. Guided Practice Students preview various nonfiction trade books, identifying and evaluating text features. Students share text features from their books, make predictions, and develop a class chart of text features.
  37. 37. Independent Practice Students select two nonfiction trade books to read. Students preview the text features, make predictions, and evaluate how the text features increase comprehension.
  38. 38. Ask students to apply what they have learned to their independent books.
  39. 39. Core Idea Reposition instruction around independent reading.
  40. 40. Books belong to their readers. --John Green