Get your students excited about reading Chris Van Allsburg! Leverage your students’ ♥love♥ of chatting with their ☺friends☺ for this NO-PREP, meaningful, & fun “Find Someone Who Has Read” game and comparison contrast writing activity about Allsburg’s books! Perfect opening OR closing activity for a Chris Van Allsburg author study—AND it aligns to Common Core!
Activity 1: Find Someone Who Has Read
Have students move around the classroom and find classmates that have read each of the famous books listed on the “Find Someone Who Has Read” activity, asking, “Have you read ____ by Tomie dePaola?.” You may also encourage students to share opinions about the books they’ve read and persuade their friends to read their favorites. Students sign the boxes of the books they’ve read. Challenge students to find a different person to sign each space, but don’t worry if not all spaces get filled in the time allowed. I find empty spaces motivate my students to independently seek out these “mystery” books! Hehe..sneaky teacher!
Activity 2: Venn Diagram
Students partner up to discuss the books they’ve both read using “Find Someone Who Has Read” activity to guide them. Partners choose 2 books to compare & contrast using the Venn diagram. (During this step, my students use a handy Comparing Multiple Texts Bookmark}
to help them compare and contrast text at higher levels of Bloom’s Taxonomy.)
Activity 3: Comparison/Contract Essay
Finally, students use the comparison/contrast writing page to write 2 paragraphs explaining how the author’s books are both similar and different. For support, comparison and contrast words and a writing checklist are included. (I have my writers highlight the must use words and challenge words in different colors, or simply point out the boxes as vocabulary suggestions, depending on their level.) For further differentiation, you may choose to have students complete their paragraphs individually or as partners! Finally, students share their comparison and contrast writing, and encourage their class to check out the books they have yet to read!
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Chris Van Allsburg
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