INDEPENDENT READING The single most productive effort we can make on our learning is the act of reading. As we all know, this is not simply a question of being literate. We are going to make every effort possible to develop an appreciation of reading.Appreciation of Reading- When you can actually put down a book andsay, “I liked that” and then some (short) time later you find yourself pickingthe same book up to read more. Essentially, you have found somethingyou like to read!Independent Reader- One day you find yourself reading a book that youenjoy and do foresee yourself finishing. Only this book, you chose foryourself, your teacher didn’t force it upon you and an aunt didn’t give itto you for your birthday.Avid Independent Reader- You have done the previous (IndependentReader) and now you want more. You finish a book and within a relativelyshort amount of time you ask yourself, “What am I going to read next?”.Hopefully you will find a specific series, author, or even genre that reallyappeals to you.Love of Reading- Throughout your life you read. You inform yourself aboutthe world, other people and cultures, and all the while increase this littlething we like to call “being smart”. Athletes work out = smart people read.Not exercising = being in poor shape. Not reading = mushy brain. Say“NO!” to mushy brain.Independent Reading – ElementsThe following goes on the individual page you created for your currentreading selection.For your current reading selection, choose 2 of the following writingprompts and respond to each in the form of an in-depth written response.I am currently on page ________.
Summary What’s this book about? What’s currently going on in mybook? Who are the people involved and what are they trying to do? Prediction Based on what I know about my book/plot I feel thefollowing is going to take place…. Where do I see certain clues(foreshadowing, imagery, characterization) that justify my prediction? Connection How is my book/novel similar to something else? Whatother characters, stories, real-life events and figures, and other forms of artsimilar to my book? Evaluate/Critique How is my book? Are the characters (fiction)credible? How effective is the story or the author’s style? What elements ofmy book do I like; what elements do I not like? INDEPENDENT READINGBased on your Independent Reading Selection, identify a key characterfrom the story. This character does not have to be the protagonist.A) 1) Identify 10 (non-physical) key traits of this character. 2) Identify direct text from the novel where this trait is evident (see citation guidelines below). 3) State what sort of characterization this is. Use the following list: a) What the character thinks or says b) Actions- what the character does c) What other characters say about this character d) Reactions- how other characters react to or behave around this character 4) State how this quotation embodies the trait of the character.B)Write a brief (200 word) paragraph summarizing your character. (do notfocus too much on plot and DO NOT be a “spoiler”- don’t give away theending… we might want to read this book too).
Reading LOG Your Reading LOG is something very personal. No one is going to obligate you to record the time you reading your book (see below*). You are advised to be reflective and introspective. Be honest with yourself and truly examine what your reading habits are like. You may choose to pursue your reading log in a number of manners, written response, video blog, audio podcast, digital image or graphic. Choose anyway you wish to express your progress with your reading, but do complete the survey below. 5 is fantastic and 1 is poor. Or 5 is absolutely yes and 1 is a big fat no. 5 is A LOT and 1 is almost never. Be sure to embed this document into your wiki. You can change the color of the numbered textbox to indicate your answer. Upload this document to your Slideshare.net account. 5 4 5 4 1. How frequently 3 3 am I reading? 2 2. How much am I 4 3 enjoying my book? 2 5 1 1 2 3. How good of a job did I do 1 selecting my book? 4 5 3 5 4 3 4. Have I been 2 5. Would I like to successful at spend more time 2 reading regularly? 1 reading? 1*You can if you want- I often do. It helps me to see how I’m doing. Sometimes, if Isimply say that I’ll read x number of minutes a day, it doesn’t happen, but if I keepa record, it works.
Oral Reading – Mp3 RecordingsUse your mp3 voice recording method of choice (Garageband,Audacity, iPod/Touch, etc.) and record yourself reading for a 10 minutesegment. Upload your mp3 (yes, it can be a mp4) to your podbeanaccount, obtain the embeddable player and embed into theappropriate page on your wiki. (It needs to be the page you haveopened for this current reading selection). Reading ContractAs we have discussed on numerous occasions, becoming an avidindependent reader means making a habit out of reading. Like allfundamental routines in your day, you seem to do them automatically(Facebook, Xbox, after school activities and hopefully homework). We allknow that when we make habits of things, then we are more prone todoing them.
Sam Tanenhaus- Editor, NY Times Book ReviewA book review is a description, critical analysis, and anevaluation on the quality, meaning, and significance of abook- not a retelling. Do not tell us the plot. The idea is if youare effective at critiquing and analyzing the book, then youwill influence your audience to read the story for themselves I write book(or not). You can agree or disagree with a book and pinpoint reviews for a livingelements that are well done and other aspects that aredeficient. Mention the genre (you have already done this on the book page of your independent reading wiki) and be very sure to state whether this is fiction or non-fiction. Identify the narrative (point of view). Who is the author and does he/she have any particular insight towards the subject matter (does something about their background make sense that they would write this book)? Provide a (very) concise summary of the book. *** Do not be a spoiler. Simply provide basic background information about: - Setting - protagonist & principal characters - conflict (not the resolution) What is the author’s style? Is it written informally (I.e. trying to sound like a teenager)? What is the author’s tone (does he/she try to make a greater statement about a universal concept)? Does the book have a specific theme? What is the mood? LINK to an extensive list of mood and tone words. Does the author effectively employ specific literary devices/structural elements- characterization, word choice, dialogue, imagery, metaphor, motif? On what levels, if any, have you connected with the book? Does the book achieve its goal? If it’s meant to be humorous and light, or compelling and accusatory, or an exposé, is it successful? Would you recommend this book for reading and if so, to whom?Have a look at the following book reviews (you will read all three of thesefrom grades 8-10). Compare our guidelines from above and identify howthey have implemented these basic components. 8- The Outsiders – by an anonymous middle school student
9- Of Mice and Men- review by Linda Linguvic 10- To Kill a Mockingbird- Alix Wilber8- The Outsiders – by an anonymous middle school studentThe Outsiders was a fascinating novel depicting the life of a boy strugglingto survive in poverty without parents. Having only two brothers to look upto, Ponyboy had to often fend for himself. While trying to stay out oftrouble with the Socs, boys from the wealthier side of town, Ponyboylearned to depend on himself and keep his eyes close on his goals evenwith the many distractions he faced. Many times during this story, Ponyboygot into situations that ended up in fights. While being either strangled,threatened with a knife, or plainly just beaten up, Ponyboy learned to livea hard life. He was rescued in the nick of time, by his brothers, many times.Being the smartest and most focused Greaser of the gang, he set his sightsbeyond what the average Greaser could imagine. His goal was not to bethe best street fighter in the gang but to get an education. He imagined alife free of the hatred between the Greasers and Socs, a life without fearand violence. Many Greasers could not live like that, but Ponyboy could.Ponyboy was different. This story takes us though the winding journey ofconflict and heartache in not only Ponyboys life, but in the lives of thoseclosest to him.I recommend this book to people who would like to know what life in aninner city environment is like. This book will be exciting for all young adultsfor it addresses topics interesting for this age group. The action and fastpaced tempo in the fights, hideaways, and rescues will bring excitementto any reader. This novel will teach any of its readers to be grateful forwhat they have and due to the many suspenseful moments throughoutthis novel, it will captivate the reader. I give this book an A+.Of Mice and Men - review by Linda LinguvicJohn Steinbeck wrote this classic gem in 1937. Its been a Broadway playand there have been several adaptations of it in movies and TV. I wasgenerally familiar with the story but this was the first time I actually read
the book. Wow! I was completely blown away! This is the story of a twolonely and alienated men who work as farm laborers, drifting from job tojob in California. Lennie is gentle giant, physically strong but mentallyretarded. George guides and protects Lennie but also depends on him forcompanionship. Together, they have a dream to someday buy a littlefarm where they can grow crops and raise rabbits and live happily everafter. This, of course, is not to be as the title suggests. "The best laid plansof mice and men" is a line in a poem by Robert Burns, which describeshow a field mouses world is destroyed by a plow.Steinbecks narrative voice is seemingly simple in his descriptions of natureof as well as the details of the bunkhouse. His characterizations of thepeople are magnificent. We meet the other workers, all loners, andappreciate the beauty of the unique friendship between Lennie andGeorge. We meet Candy, the old man who is outliving his usefulness. Wemeet Crooks, the black stable hand, shunned by the men and thereforeturning to books for companionship. We meet the cruel Curley who tauntsLennie into a fight. And we meet Curleys wife, another lonely soul whouses her femininity to get the wrong kind of attention.Theres tension in every word and I found myself holding my breath,knowing that something awful would happen, my eyes glued to thepage, the world of Lennie and George deeply etched into myconsciousness. I was pulled right into the story, wanting to shout warningsas I saw the inevitable consequences. The ending was incredibly sad, butyet satisfying. It couldnt have ended any other way. Its a small book, only118 pages long. But it is a masterpiece and I will never forget it. I give it myhighest recommendation.10- To Kill a Mockingbird – review by Alix Wilber"When he was nearly thirteen, my brother Jem got his arm badly broken atthe elbow.... When enough years had gone by to enable us to look backon them, we sometimes discussed the events leading to his accident. Imaintain that the Ewells started it all, but Jem, who was four years mysenior, said it started long before that. He said it began the summer Dillcame to us, when Dill first gave us the idea of making Boo Radley comeout."Set in the small Southern town of Maycomb, Alabama, during theDepression, To Kill a Mockingbird follows three years in the life of 8-year-old
Scout Finch, her brother, Jem, and their father, Atticus--three yearspunctuated by the arrest and eventual trial of a young black manaccused of raping a white woman. Though her story explores big themes,Harper Lee chooses to tell it through the eyes of a child. The result is atough and tender novel of race, class, justice, and the pain of growingup.Like the slow-moving occupants of her fictional town, Lee takes her timegetting to the heart of her tale; we first meet the Finches the summerbefore Scouts first year at school. She, her brother, and Dill Harris, a boywho spends the summers with his aunt in Maycomb, while away the hoursreenacting scenes from Dracula and plotting ways to get a peek at thetown bogeyman, Boo Radley. At first the circumstances surrounding thealleged rape of Mayella Ewell, the daughter of a drunk and violent whitefarmer, barely penetrate the childrens consciousness. Then Atticus iscalled on to defend the accused, Tom Robinson, and soon Scout andJem find themselves caught up in events beyond their understanding.During the trial, the town exhibits its ugly side, but Lee offers plenty ofcounterbalance as well--in the struggle of an elderly woman to overcomeher morphine habit before she dies; in the heroism of Atticus Finch,standing up for what he knows is right; and finally in Scouts hard-wonunderstanding that most people are essentially kind "when you really seethem." By turns funny, wise, and heartbreaking, To Kill a Mockingbird is oneclassic that continues to speak to new generations, and deserves to bereread often. --Alix Wilber