Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Long term literature projects

I am frequently asked by teachers for ideas on long term literature projects that they can do with their students; projects that require higher order thinking, peer cooperation, and involve reading and writing. I would like to share my two most favorite projects.

1. Mrs. __________'s Book Clubs
Just like Oprah, I like to form book clubs with my students. I pick out three titles that meet the standards that I wish to cover but also allow the students to have some input about titles. Since students are grouped by reading level, that reading level must also be taken into consideration. Some teachers may be able to group a higher group with a lower reading group of students. Each group can learn from each other. The higher reading students can help support the lower reading students. I provide a brief summary of each book and lead a discussion of the pro's and con's of each book. After the group decides which book to read, the fun begins! At times the students can be paired up in teams of two, letting them take turns reading. At other times each student can read in the round. Sometimes I would read to the students. There are many different reading strategies to use.

2. The Travel Guide
Once the students read the book, I have them work in pairs on creating a travel guide for the world created in the book just read. The students are given a rubric outlining the requirements for the travel guide: table of contents, places to stay, places to eat, local attractions, and publishing credits. The students are encouraged to be creative and research other travel guides. I will typically bring in travel guides I have collected to show students when the assignment is given. The students are given two weeks to complete the project, allowing time during class to work in the library, work as pairs, and prepare a presentation. At the end of the assignment the students present the travel guide in the form of a commercial to the class.

What is your favorite long term assignment to have students complete?

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