This unit aims to support the
classroom practice of students reading the same novel
in a small group. Students work collaboratively on a
book, supporting one another in the reading of that
book and making decisions about work to be done
themselves. The unit gives students the chance to
experience becoming autonomous and independent
readers within a supportive framework. The difference
is that here there are more reading and response
activities. In this unit they are divided into
During, After and Wider Reading. The three books
in this unit are: Journey to Jo’burg, by Beverley
Naidoo, Friedrich by Hans Peter Richter and Journey
of 1000 Miles by Ian Strachan. They are similar in
that they all present a child’s perspective of life in
the context of political or military conflict. The
second section of this unit offers texts and activities
for independent wider reading.
In Stage One, students do some preliminary work on
book covers, blurbs and first pages and on the basis
of this work decide which book they most want to
In Stage Two, students get into their reading groups
and are introduced to the way they will be working
during this unit. All groups keep a reading log
In Stage Three, students start the reading and the work
suggestions, perhaps one a week, as a break from
their reading. Different people in the groups may
choose to work on different activities.
In Stage Four, students may follow up some of the
Wider Reading text and activity suggestions.
While the texts themselves vary in terms of difficulty,
it is not choice of text which should be the main
form of differentiation in this unit but peer group
support throughout the reading process itself. The
choice of tasks during the reading are varied in
terms of their demands and outcome possibilities.
Extension work is further provided in the form of the
After Reading Activities and the Wider Reading
section of this unit.