Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Class Novel - Each Little Bird That Sings plus a Freebie

With the new term about to start, I have been scouring the public libraries and teacher blogs in search of mentor texts in the form of cool picture books and novels to share-read with my year 6 students this year. I came across a mention for Each Little Bird That Sings by Deborah Wiles and I am in love !!!

Here we are reminded that life is full of twists and turns. And the biggest one of all is learning what it takes to handle them.
Please read about this gem of a novel HERE & HERE:

As I read it, I quickly saw how well it lent itself to a novel study, and when you read about how the author came about writing this book, well, there was Author's Purpose, right there.

It will also underline the message to your students that good writing comes from the heart - your own life experiences - because these are the things that you can breathe life into so that your audience relates to your message.

Anyhow, here is the 18 page Reader Response Journal that I made for my students. It includes:

3 ‘before’ reading- prediction, vocabulary, author bio
6 ‘during’ reading- author craft, main character, support characters, text-to-self comparison x 2, setting analysis,
8 ‘after’reading - flat/round character, family tree, writing draft & publish for text-to-world, Venn diagram, title hymn.

You will notice that the activities are NOT boring comprehension question-answer worksheets. Instead they are reader RESPONSE style that promotes higher order thinking skills like, analysis, application and synthesis.

Of course, you can manipulate the order of the activities by moving the pages in the PDF document or even just select specific activities. However if you would like to make them up into booklets, the following assembly instructions have been included. 

Journal Assembly instructions:
Print pgs. 1-18 (on 2 per page setting),
Separate out the first printed sheet (front and back covers), Fold each page in half, printed side facing out, and stack in numbered order,
Slip into cover and staple all the pages together, down the left-hand side, creating a spine
Optional - tape the spine to cover the staples, or slip a coloured paper cover over the spine before stapling, for students to decorate.

Or you can watch this assembly video on Reading A-Z that shows this process brilliantly, for visual learners like myself. 

Now for the FREEBIE
These 18 activities make quite a thick booklet already, so I removed the 'Retell the Main Ideas' activity (as this can be as long as there are chapters in your book) and made it a stand-alone one that you can use for any novel that you are reading with your class. It also works brilliantly for students read-to-self novels as an independent follow up (great for developing those summarising skills for both picture and word smart kiddies). You can get this one absolutely FREE by clicking HERE.
Thank you for stopping by. I would love some comments on what you think of this novel and any other class novels that you would recommend for 9-12 year olds.

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