This week we took a small departure from our main basal story to focus on something I haven't done in YEARS....Core Lit. The look on the students' faces, the twinkle in their eyes, when I handed them an actual book and told them we were going to read it in class was priceless. This, I think, is going to be a great adventure for us.
So, with that, I wanted to share with you what we have done so far. First off, I chose to use Bridge to Terabithia
for our first novel. Partially because that is what we have available and partially because I know it centers around a 5th grade boy, friendships, and feelings of being on the outs....all things I would like us to explore in class. I found this AWESOME and super teacher friendly unit from Scholastic free online here. I am using it as a springboard for my discussion of the book (as well as my basal, overlapping skills so that I can be sure to cover everything.)
Since this was the beginning of our reading, we did some browsing of the book, reading the back cover, made predictions...the whole shebang. Then the fun stuff came.
For chapters 1 and 2, we focused on Point of View. First, I had the students create this foldable on the various types of Point of View that a story could be written from.
I got the idea from Katie at Adventures of a 6th Grade Teacher and it worked out perfectly for us. My kids really love foldables! We just used plain paper, but here is a template for you if you would like.
Then, I had the students think about how the events in a story would be changed based upon which character is actually telling the story. Since Bridge to Terabithia is told from Jess' perspective, we are driven to think the same things he does about the actions in the story. But what if we changed the POV? What if a different character were telling the story? The students created this divided Circle Map, with each section of the map detailing one event from the story (in this case, Jess' running) from the perspective of three different characters. The students had to find evidence from the story to support their ideas. Here is a template for you. It can apply to any book really.
Here is a template for you to use with any book.
Overall, I think the students realize that what happens in the book....and how WE as the reader perceive the actions, are a result of who is telling the story. That it is important for us to look outside of what we simply see in the story and read between the lines to make sure we are getting the whole picture.
Up next in our novel adventure, Drawing Conclusions. Stay tuned ;)
Do you use core lit? Any tips or tricks for me?
If you would like to get the book for your students, here is the link to Amazon.
Bridge to Terabithia (Movie Tie-in)