This is a perfect project to promote reading, writing, vocabulary building, and literature elements, as well as responsibility and independence! I used it with both 5th and 6th grade ELA classes (from low to average to high-ability) and the students loved it! But it could also easily reach up to high school age.
Step 1: Students choose a novel. I offered my students a choice, and did book talks on their choices, then let them choose from there. But it could also be 100% student-chosen. Also, this project could be done individually or with small groups. I gave my students an option to read/work on their own, or with others who chose the same novel they did.
Step 2: Following the directions on the first sheet (of the word doc attached), have the students write down the number of pages in their book. Then divide that number by 17 (or more or less if you want the project to run longer or shorter... Also, I did not count weekend days, but only school days). Have the students write that divided number on the line. This is the number of pages that student needs to read to stay on track and finish the book and project by the due date.
Step 3: Fill in the "Reading Schedule." This was especially useful for the younger students. They needed the specific structure to follow.
Next to each day, write the actual calendar date. For example: Day 1: April 26; Day 2: April 27... etc. This is just to stay on track and organized, not getting behind. And in each day's box, write the exact pages that need to be read.
For example: Day 1: April 26; p. 1 - 17..... Day 2: April 27; p. 18 - 34.....
Step 4: Fill in the dates your project will run on the "Reading Log Notes" sheet. I intended for this to be print front and back, so it is one single page. (The directions and reading schedule is its own page, and the rubric is its own page.)
Step 5: Make the booklet with the class. This may seem complicated (and requires patience when teaching it to younger students), but it's really not difficult.
1. Give each student 3 full sheets of blank, white paper.
2. Cut in half, length-wise, so now you have 6 long sheets of white paper.
3. Stack all 6 sheets on top of each other, then stagger them vertically, leaving approx.1/4 - 1/2 inch "tab" at the bottom of each paper.
4. Pick up the stack carefully, then fold down (about 1/3 of the way down the stack), thereby creating 12 even tabs, in the booklet.
5. Staple at the top to secure.
Now the students are ready to read and work independently, leaving you free to assist students who need it or catch up on grading and planning!
Each day, the students see which pages they are supposed to read. Also, each day, the students fill out 3 important things they read in the reading log. I checked the reading log each Monday, counting it as a 15-point grade each week. It is also the students' responsibility to keep up with the booklet. I suggested filling in the weekly summaries at the end of each week, and adding to the vocabulary tabs on a daily basis. It's also a good idea to remind the students to be on the lookout for figurative language and write that on the corresponding tab as they come across it. The characters and critique can be done later, as well as all the illustrations and coloring.
I then collected and graded the booklet in its entirety at the end of the project (which for us lasted 4 weeks... the typical length of time we would spend on a novel).
I got lots of positive feedback from students on this one and plan to continue doing it year after year!