To introduce the students to our new novel, AND to get them looking at the various text features found in fictional text, I did something a bit different than I had done before and I wanted to share it with you.
I told the students the name of our book, which happens to be Gregor The Overlander (Underland Chronicles, Book 1)
by Suzanne Collins. JUST based on the title, I wanted the students to draw a conclusion as to what the story would be about. I didn't show them the book. I didn't tell them anything else. I just wanted them to use the title only. I then gave them a sticky note and they each wrote their thoughts down. They then shared with a partner what they thought, and we placed it on our anchor chart.
Next, I showed them the cover of the book. I placed in on my ELMO, as I didn't want them to see the back just yet. I zoomed in, so they could really see the detail and then asked them to pair share some ideas about what the story could be about now that they knew the title and saw the cover art. How did the two of them combine to give a more full picture of the story? What genre does it all lead towards? The kids wrote down their ideas, shared out, and then placed the sticky note on the chart.
Finally, I handed out the book. (On a side note, have you ever noticed how INCREDIBLY excited the kids are when you give them an actual book??? The LOVE LOVE LOVE it!)
Anyway, back to the lesson. :)
Once they had the book, I asked the students to read the back cover summary. Based on that, and all the other things we have discussed thus far, NOW what did they think the story would be about? Did their conclusions about the cover art and title hold true with the addition of the summary? Again, they wrote those down and we discussed them as a class. This time, the kids were lighting up with the realization that each of the pieces really helped to broaden their picture of what the story would be about. They all came together to paint a picture of something very interesting that they couldn't wait to read.
What is something you do to preview the story you are going to embark on in class?