Dorothy Barrie Donohue
EDLA 615 Summer 2005
Literature Circles Extension Project
Being a math teacher, I have not had very much experience with Children and Literature. I was apprehensive about having to create a meaningful extension project for students. It seemed like an insurmountable task, to understand students’ needs and create a meaningful project. It seemed beyond my capabilities. But, Professor Silverman has provided me with a wealth of information and examples for extension projects. With careful planning anyone can set readers up for success.
At the beginning of class, Professor Silverman set up the schedule for discussions. I was the second discussion leader for chapters 11 – 14.
I chose to use an online resource as an extension project. When I first considered a technology extension, I thought about inspiration. Inspiration was the only application I knew that could easily create a story web. After seeing the Drama Map link on the Read Write Think website, I decided to use the online resource. I liked that it had guiding questions for the students. The questions also allowed students to think and add some ideas of their own. I also thought about how different students would answer the questions differently. This would make a good class discussion.
I have recently started blogging with my students and think that a class blog could be a good forum for additional discussion. Students could fill out maps as individuals or as partners or groups. As facilitator, I could start a forum for each map and students could cut and paste their responses. This could be viewed in class with a projector and we could discuss the different responses given by class members.
Different writers would describe the setting differently.
A character map would also create varied responses. There are a few characters to choose from in Tuck Everlasting.
I like that in the conflict map, the question is not “How was the conflict resolved?” but how could it be resolved. This is an open question that encourages the reader to think.
How the conflict resolution affected the character is an excellent discussion point. There may be more than one point of view.
When I was first given the assignment of reading Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt, I asked my students if anyone had read the book. Of the students who said yes, none of them liked the book. I am sure that if these students had been actively involved in a discussion of the book and an extension project to help cement comprehension, that their responses would have been different.