Tired of grading the same ol' essays and end-of-unit exams that lack the passion for the material that you strive tirelessly to provoke? Looking for a way to turn your class novel reading into a fun, interactive journey for your students that they won't soon forget? This was the dilemma in my classroom until I developed a new way to assess students' interpretations of the text.
This talk show project allows students to take on the role of one of the characters in your novel and view the events through that person's perspective. At the end of the unit, they'll work as a class to perform a talk show where the characters will be interviewed and have the chance to interact beyond the pages of the book. Don't worry if not all of your students would be excited about the opportunity to act- there are also roles that don't require acting!
As students prepare for their talk show debut, they will keep track of important evidence from the text that they will cite on "set". This unit includes use of technology, current event articles, and lots of imagination! They will be asked to study the importance of perspective and relate content in the novel to their own lives. And, of course, it will ask them to hone their public speaking and acting skills (and possibly encounter some improvisation).
This project can be adapted for just about any novel (I have used it mostly while teaching the Odyssey). I provide many options during the course of the lessons so that you can adapt as needed for your own classroom. All you will need to do is provide your students with a synopsis of your book with a BRIEF description of each character. Here is what I provide:
1. Exploring Perspective activity (with handout and links to videos/articles/sources for current event articles)
2. Student Reading Guide (for them to fill out while reading)
3. Day-by-day instructions
4. Grading Rubric