I am searching for new ideas for fun activities for guided reading groups to do once they finish reading a book. One group is reading "Homer Price" and will finish tomorrow or Friday. Any ideas out there? Thanks
Have you ever heard of the Tell Me Framework for discussions? I can't remember who wrote the book off the top of my head, but the basic premise is that you ask the kids four questions about the book. 1. What they liked, 2. What they disliked, 3. What they were puzzled by, 4. Any patterns they noticed. You, or one of them, can take notes on their discussion and then draw lines to connect ideas across the four sheets (chart paper works nicely). Any idea that has lots of connections is a topic for further discussion. I have found this framework helpful in that the kids take the discussion over a bit more, rather than relying on me to ask questions and respond.
Another fun activity I have done is having the students make a gameboard to go with a book after reading it. They get so excited about doing it and they end up unearthing some of the most important ideas and themes from the story throughout the process. It's also a great group work activity.
I've also had them create posters of characters and splash words on the posters describing the characters. Sometimes I've had them use the words to show the progression of how a character changed throughout the book.
This is another fun idea, but probably more appropriate for read aloud, so more kids can participate. You pick two characters from the book and divide the kids into two groups. Each student takes on the role of one of the characters and writes a letter to the other character. (This is especially good if there is some sort of unresolved issue at the end of the book.) Then you partner the kids up and they exchange letters. Each student reads the letter and underlines their favorite sentence. Then, everyone who had one character gets together and uses their underline sentences to construct a new letter. They do this orally and arrange the sentences in a way that makes sense. The kids love to see which of their sentences their partner picked and swell with pride when it is read aloud.
Here are a few ideas I have had my kids do after reading a novel:
- Make a story mobile. I covered wire hangers with white bulletin board paper, gave the students the hanger and several index cards. They had to decorate the hanger to depict the main idea of the book and include thir names, the book's title and author. They illustrated one side of the index cards and wrote on the other. They had to have cards for setting, characters, and plot. The cards were then hung from the hanger with string, one line for setting cards, one for character cards and one for plot cards.
- Make a cereal box report. I found a pattern of a foldable mini cereal box in a book (can't remember the title) and copied it on card stock. They students had to illustrate and write a report about the book on each of the sides. One side was for their name, book title, author, etc. One side was for main characters, another for setting, another for plot. On the front of the box, students had to draw something applicable to summarize the book and the write a short summary. On the last side, students had to rate the book - giving it stars to show what they thought of it.
- Make a wheel book report. I used this one for Sarah, Plain and Tall. I gave each student two large circles/wheels (about 8" diameter) or two paper plates. The top circle had a pie shape cut out of it and the bottom was divided into equal pie shapes, one for each chapter of the book. The student had to illustrate and summarize each chapter of the book on the bottom circle. On the top circle, they drew a picture to summarize the whole book and wrote their names, the author's name, etc on it. The two circles were joined with those brass things and the book report could be read, chapter by chapter, by turning the top circle.
I used to do something with almost every book I taught in guided reading. For some reason I got away form it. With the last book I taught I decided to do something and the kids were SO in to it. They LOVED it. I will start doing these again!
We have been studying nonfiction. For our last book we created comic strips that retold the story. Fold a large sheet of 11 x 18 paper into 6 boxes. I gave the students the basic idea (I wanted six boxes, retelling the story, complete sentences and pictures). Then as a group we decided the other details (what exact info to include- remember this was nonfiction). They turned out awesome. You can also so it with fiction (boxes could be title box-characters- setting-beginning-middle-end OR title- characters- setting- beginning/ rising action- climax- resolution). There are so many ways to organize the information.
We are still studying NF. We will be making story screens. You fold a large sheet of white paper three times like an accordion. The paper will stand on its own. Students will write paragraphs on each "screen" about their reading. You can show them how to fold the accordion back together and cut a shape at the top (similar to paper doll chains). Then they color and decorate.
You can have students create something similar to Alpha boxes. Get a large sheet of paper and fold into 22 boxes (or measure of with a ruler). Label one box as a title box. Put one letter of the alphabet in each box (xyz in the same box at the end). Students choose words IMPORTANT to the story to put in each box. They write a sentence using the word and can draw a picture if room allows.
If you are studying character, create a paper doll of the character. Students then use an index card to label important characteristics of the character.