We started our novel study for Tuck Everlasting this week. Now, this story is NOT a read aloud. (we are reading Wonder for that.) Instead, this is a whole group novel that we are reading to learn about story elements, figurative language, grammar, and fluency. We use this book in lieu of the anthology, but are learning the same skills that we would if we were sticking tight to the basal. So this book is something that will have the kids reading, rereading, and then reading again.
To introduce the story, I had the students examine the actual physicality of the book before I told them anything about it. We did this with our first novel study, Gregor the Overlander, as well. First, I read the title to the kids. I ask them to make an inference and predict what the story will be about, simply based on the title. They wrote their ideas on a sticky note and we shared out. Then, I placed the book cover on the doc cam and asked them to make a new prediction on a sticky note. Using the visuals, how did that impact their thoughts on the book? Again, we discussed. Finally, I read the plot summary on the back of the book and one last time had the students write their thoughts on the book on a sticky.
What is interesting is hearing how some students really want to stick with their original predictions based on the title, EVEN after being faced with the new ideas presented in the visuals and the book summary. They were very gung-ho in their initial thoughts!
Now, if you have ever read Tuck Everlasting, you know that it is heavy in figurative language. There is so much imagery brought to the reader through metaphors, similes, personification, etc...that it would be a disservice to this book to read it without really dissecting the use of these writing techniques. So, to start us off, I created a huge figurative language chart to display in our classroom (yes, I did use my window space.) As we read the story, and as we find examples of figurative language, we will be adding it to the chart. (using window markers) The chart will grow as our understanding of the story grows!
So there you have it. A few of my introductory things to get us going on Tuck Everlasting. What do you do to introduce a novel? (not necessarily this one, but any novel that can universally be used.)