Writing Lesson of the Month Network

...sharing thoughtful, mentor text-inspired lessons your students will love!

While I focus on shorter texts, I also enjoy our classroom novels.  I would like to hear what other classrooms are reading!  Here are ours:

7th grade - When You Reach Me, Julie of the Wolves, Tunes for Bears to Dance To, The Lottery Rose, The Education of Little Tree, The Watsons Go to Birmingham

8th grade - The Giver, Animal Farm, The Red Pony, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, The Outsiders, Across Five Aprils

 

I would like to add The Glory Field to 8th grade...anyone use it?

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6th grade - Seedfolks, Maniac Magee, The Watsons go to Birmingham, Hatchet,Tuck Everlasting.  At the beginning of the year I also teach Freak the Mighty as a read-aloud.

 

Justin, I love all of those novels...great selelction.  From your selection, I can see that you reach a wide range of readers.  A few years ago, I had to change some of my 7th grade selections because I did not feel I had enough "boy" books...you have created a wonderful list that I bet your male students really enjoy. I use several excerpts from Maniac Magee and Tuck Everlasting...many of my students end up reading those as independent selelctions. 

 

Would you share some of your activites for Watsons?  I do a lot of personal narrative and memoir writing as we read.  I like to focus on characterization, conflict, and symbolism.  This is a great novel across the curriculum...even math.  For example, we research the price of gas as that time, calculate how far they traveled, and calculate how much they would have spent on gas during their trip.  Then students calculate the same thing if the same trip were to be made today and compare the difference.  It makes a good math piece for our portfolio.  The science and social studies connections are obvious...great novel!

Yes, I would agree about the boy books.  This past year, my boy students really got in to Hatchet.  They read most of the other books in the series.  It was great to see them asking for more Gary Paulsen.  Maniac was a great book to begin the year with.  It really drew them in to writer's craft/style.  Watsons is a great book for character, however, everytime I read it I always with there was more in the book about the 4 girls who dies in the bombing.  Oh well.  I still discuss it with them.  

We do a scrapbook during the reading of Watsons.  I attached a basic version of the criteria.  I have modfied it for my different levels in the past.  

I would love to hear about the narrative & memoir writing you do as well.

 

 

Attachments:
What a great project! I am visiting my classroom tomorrow and I will pick up my Watsons folder so that I can post a few of my prompts and activities. Thank you for sharing! I am going to use the idea of creating a scrapbook; I do several of the assignments but I never thought of having the students present it in the form of a vacation scrapbook...very cool!
We also look at this poem prior to the reading.
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That would be great!  I would love to get some new ideas.  Thanks for sharing!

Jennifer Fowler said:
What a great project! I am visiting my classroom tomorrow and I will pick up my Watsons folder so that I can post a few of my prompts and activities. Thank you for sharing! I am going to use the idea of creating a scrapbook; I do several of the assignments but I never thought of having the students present it in the form of a vacation scrapbook...very cool!
I didn't get the opportunity to go to my classroom today before I left for the conference...I will go at some point next week.  Sorry!
No problem.  Once I get in my classroom I will be able to share more as well.  Good luck at your conference.
My 7th grade PAP students are just finishing a novel study on Susan Beth Pfeffer's Life As We Knew It and The Dead And The Gone. Half of the students read one and half reads the other since they are companion books told from different perspectives. All of my students have gotten into these books and majority have began to read the 3rd and 4th books from the series! I highly recommend these books.

I've also incorporated a writing segment to the novel study. The students "put themselves into the novel" and choose a location to "live." They research their location and as the events happen in their novel, they respond to a prompt to see how the events affect their lives in the novel.

I teach 6th and 8th grade.

6th grade novels- Freak the Mighty, The Giver, Number the Stars, The Toothpaste Millionaire

8th grade novels - Of Mice and Men, The Maze Runner, The Scorch Trials, Macbeth

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