Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Historical Fiction Unit Kick-Off in Mrs. Teal's Writ Lit I

Jade opens her copy of Nobody's Slave
Last week was the kick-off for our historical fiction unit in Writ Lit I, which began with the delivery of students' novel baggies! Each bag contained one of the 6 novels we are reading (all centered around globalization in the 16th and 17th centuries), 2 packs of sticky notes, the reading schedule along with reminders for how to sticky note during reading time, and a letter from me. Students met their new novel groups and were excited about everything from finding out which novel they would be reading to the smell of brand new books and the color of their sticky notes!

We are now well under way in our novels. Each day, students have 30 minutes of class time to enjoy reading their books. As they go, students sticky-note their thoughts, observations about the characters, and questions about historical references.  On any given day, students can be found reading in various spots around the room. Students have also been categorizing their sticky notes as literal, inferential, or critical, helping them to better understand the different levels of thinking involved when we interpret texts.

The second part of each class period is giving students time to build a warehouse of resources that help them understand the historical context of their novels, events they are/will be studying in World History. So far, students have looked at websites, YouTube videos, and scholarly articles. They'll be looking at artwork from this time period after Thanksgiving!

The last two weeks have been so exciting. There is great energy in a room full of readers, even when no one is speaking!

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