Here is a simple project for your middle or high school student to dive deep into a novel.
I was a middle and high school teacher and when I switched to an independent study teacher for our district, I was saddened by the curriculum. I created a version of the following lesson for the students who wanted to read something and dive deeply into what they read. I received some really great projects. In my GATE (gifted and talented education) training, I learned that allowing children choice and the ability to dive deep is one the best things we can do for kids. With the current emphasis on children staying home, I realize there is a lot out there for younger grades but not much for our secondary kids.
Here are the instructions:
Choose a novel.
Keep a dialectical journal while reading, you must have at least 50 full entries. These may be typed or handwritten (not familiar google it).
While keeping the journal, also jot down any unfamiliar words or terms and the definition you find either online or in a dictionary.
Also keep a list of main characters (no more than 6). Write the character’s name, their significance or role in the story and a list of their traits.
After you have finished the novel, create a higher level essay question for yourself to answer (Google Costa's Level of Questioning).
Good essay questions focus on theme, meaning and depth of understanding. You will then write the essay in two drafts. You will give the rough draft to be corrected by a peer, teacher or parent, you will work on your final on your own.
Choose something from the novel that has sparked your interest. This may be the historically time period, the theme, the author, a character, etc. Then research this topic you have selected.
You will then create a project of your choice based off of this research. The project is open but must gain approval. You cannot do a poster, simple drawing, poem or another essay. Think bigger and more interesting. You will also turn in an MLA Works Cited page of your research (you must have at least 5).
Finally, you will present your project and teach me what have learned. Your presentation needs to be at least 3 minutes but no longer than 10.
Novel Choice List:
Grade 7: The Giver, Esperanza Rising
Grade 8: Farewell to Manzanar, The Outsiders
Grade 9: Romeo and Juliet, To Kill a Mockingbird, Bless Me, Ultima
Grade 10: Their Eyes are Watching God, Night, Pygmalion
Grade 11: The Crucible, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass An American Slave, The Catcher in the Rye
Grade 12: Things Fall Apart, Othello, The Alchemist
The novels are what we had available at the school, but you may pick anything you think is age appropriate. Here is a good place to look.
If you have questions, please email me: Jenny@broken-better.com