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Problem: Students sometimes have a hard time relating to--and consequently, comprehending--a historical novel. Much of the book may be foreign to kids born in the 21st century: the era, mores, culture, and significant events that shape the lives of characters. As teachers, we sometimes assume students "get" more than they actually do.
Solution: A chapter-by-chapter "Visual Text Support" PowerPoint slide show for the novel A Separate Peace by John Knowles. This product generates student excitement and familiarity with the story while offering a visual context for historical and literary background and vocabulary.
Results: This comprehensive slide show made a huge difference in students' engagement with the text and understanding of the story. It has been a flexible teaching tool and excellent way to scaffold the text for all students in addition to providing an enriched historical background. Some slides have literature-based questions to help facilitate discussion or passages worth a deeper look.