This is a thoughtful, creative, and engaging set of writing log prompts for Achebe's novel, Things Fall Apart. (Please see the preview for examples from the first two nights of reading. The full version contains log prompts for the entire novel). I have used them in grades 9 and 10, though they would also apply to older or younger students (with a little "tweaking").
In my classroom, I use these log prompts as nightly writing assignments that accompany that night's reading. The log questions pertain to the particular chapter the student has just read, and they ask students NOT to regurgitate factual information, but to think critically about the themes, issues, and writer's techniques in the novel and to use textual evidence in their analysis of these issues.
I have found that these logs actually INCREASE student engagement with this challenging book. They help students process each chapter, and at the same time, they are simply interesting things to write about. They also help prepare students for a final writing activity such as a literary analysis essay.
Note: I have students share their logs with each other during the first five minutes of the following school day.
Additional Note: Three of the log prompts simply ask students to create their own questions for discussion for the following day. I graded students on the quality of their questions, and students used these questions to fuel their student-led small-group discussions the following day.
-Kerry Erspamer, High School English Teacher