I have always been fond of doing
book projects with my students.
Folk/Fairy Tale Book Projects
The “Literature Circle Extension
Project” afforded me another opportunity to tap into my
students’ creative abilities.
Literature circles were
introduced as another way to enjoy reading and discussing
stories. We began our lit circle work by first reading a story
in our Grade level anthology, concentrating on one lit role a
day. Each day, the entire class completed and discussed the same
role sheet. Following this process enabled all students to
understand the structure and know what to expect in terms of
class discussions. We talked about how each role aids students’
comprehension of a story and how important it is for each child
to do their role with pride. Although there are many assigned
roles for a literature circle, I decided on the 5 roles that I
thought would be most beneficial in aiding comprehension of the
2nd graders. The roles we used were DISCUSSION DIRECTOR, COOL
CONNECTOR, SUPER SKETCHER, SUPER SUMMARIZER, AND PASSAGE
PERFORMER (thanks to Amanda Madden for the forms).
Following our week of practice,
we used the mystery Genre for our Literature Circle. Mysteries
are a good venue to introduce and support inference and
questioning strategies, which was our comprehension focus for
the current grade level curriculum unit.
Since my students are very
interested in series books, the majority of books used for the
lessons were from the series of Nate the Great
and the Boxcar Children
Mysteries. I tried to keep
in mind the various reading levels that I have in my classroom,
and therefore added another non-series book to the selection
that is titled Key To The Treasure by Peggy Parrish. After
collecting all of the Nate the Great
and Boxcar Children
books from our school library, the children used our designated
reading time to browse through the books and decide which book
they would like to read for the literature circle activities.
After reviewing the roles and examining the books, students were
asked to sign up for a book in groups of 5. Discussions were
given as to the appropriateness and reading ability of books
chosen. It was no surprise that students selected books that
were JUST RIGHT for them!
Literature circles were conducted
daily for 5 days. Each day the groups read for 30 minutes,
filled out role sheets for 20-30 minutes, and then held
discussions for 20-30 minutes. Since the students “placed
themselves” in ability level groups, the pacing worked well. I
circulated throughout all phases of the activities giving
assistance where needed. Halfway through the week students were
asked to give a mini presentation to the class summarizing the
plot of their stories thus far. They also used this opportunity
to confirm whether or not their stories contained the
elements/characteristics of a mystery.
Next came the extension projects.
I used the LCD projector to show my class examples of extension
projects from project participants and from the
Extension Project website. The children were asked to think
about the best way to represent their book. When students were
ready to select a project, they signed their name under the type
of project, and then filled out a project plan sheet. Once I
approved the plan, students worked independently or with a
partner on their creation. The process took 5 days for all
projects to be completed and presented. Those who completed
their project in under 5 days were encouraged to enjoy one of
the books they had not read.
Game board: Nate The Great and
the Missing Key
2 Quilt Squares: Key To The