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Grade 7-11: Comprehensive unit plan with suggested calendar, assessment tools, student-led chapter talks, literary analysis, chapter-by-chapter questions, and rubrics.
This is NOT your conventional unit plan for a novel! This is an organic, authentic approach to reading and discussing the novel the way real people actually read in the real world.
Students will be responsible to "champion" one chapter and provide a full analysis of it as the class moves through the calendar of "chapter talks"; their classmates will take notes and share ideas as the talk is given. You will be there every step of the way to facilitate learning by asking probing questions, or highlighting an important insight a student makes in discussion, or redirecting and clarifying where you see there has been a comprehension issue.
1. Reading Schedule (4-5 weeks)
2. Chapter Questions (thoughtful questions for each chapter as students read)
3. Vocabulary Study (over the unit, students self-select 20 words to study more deeply and chart their learning)
4. Student-Led Chapter Talks (prompts to focus their analysis and direct their talk are provided in the resource as well as a detailed rubric)
Sometimes teachers are hesitant to let students lead the learning and feel responsible to teach a novel "to" students... but in my experience, that learning has to be done through the reader, and every reader will have their own interactions and insights with the novel that bring new meaning every time. Thus, one class may complete this unit and have different ideas emerge than another class, and that is OK! As long as you are there to ensure the most important elements do come out through discussion, not every student and not every class has to read the novel the same way. In fact, Edmund Wilson has said: "No two persons have ever read the same book."
You will be amazed at what students see in a novel that you may not have seen - and I have personally found that approaching the novel in this fashion reduces boredom for me. When you "teach" a novel 10-15-20 times... the 'novelty' can often be lost... but when you "share" the novel with your class, you may be surprised what you learn from them!
I hope you and your students enjoy!
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