Oh, the NOVEL-ty of it all!
As we have flown into this 5th week of school (already, can you believe it?), all literature classes are beginning to set in to their first novel studies.
Each of these novel studies will have a specific focus on how the development of the characters within the story directly impact the novel or short story’s plot and the readers’ connections to the narrative. Junior High Language Arts is reading the first of The Guardians of Ga’Hoole series, The Capture. This middle grade fantasy series follows the story of Soren, a Barn Owl who is captured and, along with other owlets, has to find a way to escape and get home to his family. Also in the fantasy genre, Tuck Everlasting, a modern classic that poses the question, is eternal life a blessing or a curse, is the focus in 3rd hour Language Arts. Third hour Literary Strategies class has dove into Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes the story of two friends who share stories of hardship growing up and their journey into young adulthood. This novel addresses some tough issues and always sparks strong discussions in my classes. Meanwhile, 7th hour Modern Literature has turned its attention to Roald Dahl’s lesser known works of fiction: his short horror and suspense stories. This will segue into a collection of Ghost Fiction that was compiled by Roald Dahl himself.
Guardians of Ga’Hoole
Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes
By Chris Cutcher
Roald Dahl’s Ghost Stories and Short Fiction
Creative Writing has spent the last week working on stories using Rory’s Story Cubes. Each set contains nine six-sided dice that have a character and or action on them. Students roll the dice in their set and then arrange the cubes to organize the action in their own original story based on their roll. I have several different sets of these dice including those that are Harry Potter, Looney Tune, Star Wars, Adventure Time, and Batman themed along with the original one like what is pictured above. This exercise allows the students to learn to take a risk with a topic or action they not usually include in the story or build on an already established character arc to continue their journey. I like to do a couple of these before we move into our unit on the Story Arc which will help them in developing more structure to their writing while keeping in mind the “looseness” of these story cube pieces.
If you would like to read more about the novels we are reading in your student’s class please see the links below:
Guardians of Ga’Hoole: The Capture—
Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes:
Roald Dahl’s Book of Ghost Stories:
For more about Rory’s Story Cubes: https://www.storycubes.com/en/
WEEK IN REVIEW: SEPTEMBER 19- 23 - USE THESE TO ASK YOUR KIDS WHAT THEY ARE LEARNING!
- Junior High English-Word Play (em-, en-, ento-, -active, scrib-, script); Chapters 1-2 of Guardians of Ga’Hoole with Comprehension Question Discussion; Chapter retellings; Chapter 3 and Discussion
- Language Arts-Word Play (em-, en-, ento-, -active, scrib-, script); Tuck Everlasting Opinion paragraph completion; Tuck Everlasting Prologue through Chapter 3 Vocabulary Table Building and Sentence writing activity; Collaborative Mad Libs; Tuck Vocabulary Maze Passage
- Literary Strategies- Word Play (em-, en-, ento-, -active, scrib-, script); Character Development lesson and discussion; Chapter 1 and 2 of Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes; Discussion and Questions
- Creative Writing-Idiom Word Play (let sleeping dogs lie, left out in the cold, heart’s in the right spot); Writing and Editing Days Roll and Write Creative Prompt; Writing Game-Fold and write
- Modern Literature- Word Play (em-, en-, ento-, -active, scrib-, script); Who is Roald Dahl?; Lamb to the Slaughter Vocabulary activity and sentence