13 September 2011

Teacher Resource: Independent Reading

All my students are required to read within certain genres, and as long as they follow the guidelines I provide, they get to choose each book they read. One of those requirements is that they read three books from the realistic fiction genre.

Once they've finished reading each book, they write me a letter proving they read the book; the letters are not a lot of work, but I ask them specific questions depending on what they've read.

Below is the prompt upon finishing their first realistic fiction book:

Reading Response: REALISTIC FICTION #1
One thing that moves any story along is characters. You should be familiar with the protagonist of your book, who is the main character, and the antagonist, who is the villain (or anything working against the main character).

You will include THREE things in your letter:
  1. Introduce me to the book’s protagonist – tell me all about him or her.
  2. Introduce me to the book’s antagonist – tell me all about him, her, or it.
  3. EXPLAIN how the protagonist and antagonist interact throughout the story. 
Like I said in my initial post about the reading goal (click here for initial post), I really like the letter writing format for differentiating instruction. Just this week I've had several conversations with students about what exactly a protagonist is; I've also had conversations about the same prompt, but the conversation is centered around a better description of the protagonist.

Feel free to comment upon the above questions or methods - I'm always open to suggestions. And also feel free to use these ideas as well! 


Anonymous said...

This sounds may I say it?-fantastic! I wish I had had such a vehicle to communicate with my teachers. Its much less intimidating than a personal "chat" with the English teacher which is what I had in grade 8. Keep up the good work!

Man O' Clay said...

I like it a lot. It does give my students the chance to ask questions, or try and fail in private - which is what many of them need to do.

I do talk to them one-on-one periodically, I'm doing that this week in fact. I like that too because I get the chance to ask them about all the new concepts we're learning as well as about their reading.

Anonymous said...

Maybe you're less intimidating than my 8th grade teacher:)
I imagine that the one-on-one helps you get to know your students,which helps you be a better teacher- I think

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