Culminating Response to Literature Ideas

Culminating tasks for novels and other fiction stories are always something I am looking for, so I thought that you, reader, might also be in search of some.   We have finished reading our novel study of Tuck Everlasting last week, so this week, we have been responding to the story as a whole class.  I wanted to share with you two of the culminating responses we have done.  Both of these can be done with ANY piece of literature, not just Tuck (though, I have to say, both my students and I really found ourselves immersed in the story!)

The question is from Got To Teach's Pack for Tuck!
First, I had my students answer some higher level, deeper thinking questions about the story.  To do this, we did a Graffiti Wall style poster.  Basically, I took 6 questions that were text dependent upon Tuck Everlasting and wrote each one on a separate piece of 17" x 17" paper (I used those dimensions because the window pane glass is that large and I wanted to display them there.....you can use any size poster you wish.)  Then, I asked the students to get into groups of 5, with a few groups of 6 since I have 33 students.  Each group gathered around a poster and SILENTLY answered the question.  The students all were writing on the poster at the same time.  So while they were all sitting together answering the same question, this was NOT a collaborative project.  It was each kid answering the question on his own.  After about 4 minutes, the groups switched papers.  They worked for 4 minutes each time, rotating the paper between the groups as time was called.  The paper rotated 6 times so that each student had a chance to answer each question.

What is great about this Graffiti Wall is that all of the students get a chance to write their thoughts without having to feel the pressure to fill an entire page themselves.  What's more, it makes a great display of their learning from the book!
You can see that the writing is upside-down, sideways, and generally, all over the place.  That adds to the "graffiti" aspect of it!

A second response that we did with this novel was using my Story Element Task Cards.  I can't tell you how much I love these things.  Serious love.

There are about 24 different cards, of which I made 3 copies of each.  The cards are sorted by number.  So there are 4 different plot cards, all with a different number 1-4.  Each of the story elements is this way.  The kids pick one card, say a Theme of the #3.  They respond to that theme question in the #3 section on their recording sheet.  Then, they have to choose another card, but this time from a different number set AND different element (such as setting or character or point of view.)  What I love is that the kids are choosing these open ended cards themselves, so they naturally have a little more buy in.  Since they have to pick one from each of the numbered sections, the kids can't only pick easy drawing ones either.  There is built in rigor and differentiation....and each project looks different!  Did I mention I love these things??

Well, there you have it.  Two different ways to bring closure to your novel studies in class.  What is something you have done in the past?  I am always looking to add to my repertoire! 

2 comments

  1. Another activity I liked to use after reading Tuck is some opinion/persuasive writing. If you had the chance, would you drink from the spring? Suppose you were Winnie Foster, and you knew that Jesse had already drunk from the spring, would you do it then?

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  2. I love these ideas! We are reading this novel right now. We made a character analysis chart for Winnie at the beginning and are going to do the same for her toward the end, then write a comowrison of how her character changed throughout the the story. We are also planning on watching the movie when we finish and writing a compare/contrast essay on the movie vs. the book. I'm having so much fun with this novel. Thanks for the ideas!

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