Last week, I shared some tips for reading a class novel as a shared reading text.
But I know a lot of people are asking: What does that look like? How do I hit my standards while I’m stuck in the middle of a novel? How do I help students apply the strategies I’m teaching in their own reading?
Well, you’re in luck. Here you go.
Before the lesson:
1. Decide on a purpose for reading that section or chapter of your novel. It might be “Analyze character emotions using text evidence,” or “Visualize the setting using details from the text.”
Make sure that it’s valuable to your kids and grade level standards, and that there are opportunities to practice that strategy/skill in the text.
Too many times, I’ve seen teachers choose “make inferences,” when there are very few opportunities to actually do that in the chunk of text that they’re going to read. I’ve done it, too!
2. Find some places kids can practice that strategy or skill. Mark the text with post-its that include the question you plan to ask.
3. Decide: how will kids respond? In speaking, with a partner (because everybody needs to speak; not just the kids who raise their hands), or in writing, in their notebooks? On a graphic organizer?
During the lesson:
1. Explicitly introduce the strategy/skill you’re working on that day. You might build the top part of an anchor chart where you introduce the target and the teaching point: how should kids apply the strategy? You could also put that into a reader’s notebook page so kids can practice the strategy there.
2. You can always make good predictions – that’s an easy strategy that helps kids comprehend better.
3. Teacher reads, kids track. Teacher stops at pre-selected places and asks kids to read or reread that chunk of text. The first couple times, the teacher models using the strategy.
4. The next time, the kids try out the strategy in partners. Have students share their thinking verbally, and then have them write about their thinking in their notebooks or on their organizer.
5. Continue to read- stop- talk- write. Add to the anchor chart as you see fit, or to the notebook entry.
After the lesson: This is the important part: you can ask kids to apply what you just did! They should take out their independent reading books/texts and try out the same exact strategy, in the same exact way.
Provide them with the same sentence starters, anchor chart, or graphic organizer.
Ask them to read independently and then prompt them to write their response!
That’s how I got the most out of my class novel studies. What’s your favorite novel to read?
If you want some resources to use with a novel study, check out my Wonder Novel Study – kids LOVE this book, and it’s such an important book to read!
when you have the students read independently applying the strategy you just modeled, do you ever have them do it in the same novel you are using?