In a previous post I wrote about giving students the opportunity to read almost any book under the sun....
The experience of giving students choice in what they read has made for the best end of school that I have EVER had, and I ain’t exaggerating.
I would start every class by telling the students about the book that I was reading, and then I would allow them to volunteer to tell about the book that they were reading. Then we would all read, including me, for thirty minutes, and then we would spend the last thirty minutes of class working on their individual projects.
Each student had to complete three projects that were due on three separate dates. The beauty of the choice novel unit is that it allowed every student to work at his or her own pace. My faster workers could read and complete a project, maybe finish the first book and start another book and do the next project on the next book. Some of my slower workers could take the time that they needed to read their book and maybe complete the three projects on one book... This unit accommodated all students.
I gave them a questionnaire to complete about their book, and if a student read more than one book, then he could pick which book he would use to complete the questionnaire. The students used the questionnaire to present their novel to the class.
The presentations went well. Students listened to each other and asked questions of each other. Every student stated that he loved having a say in what he read. However, a few students mentioned that they missed having class discussions on one book, and I will definitely take this into consideration as I tweak this unit.
I have two students who are English as a Second Language students who admitted that they did not read any of the books that I assigned this year, but they read and finished the book that they chose to read. (SUCCESS!)
All of my fellow English teachers, consider giving your students more choice and see how much easier it will make your job; no more begging reluctant readers to read!!!
BEST. END. OF. SCHOOL. YEAR. EVER!
Last full week of school, and I hear freedom in the air...