Again, this will be a short post, but I do hope that it will inform others of my thoughts on the subject of teaching the novel and teaching / modeling reading habits and skills. In the end, the objective of the lesson is to reinvigorate the students’ natural curiosity about the written word, as well as the links between the written word and reality. I hope to show that fiction has purpose, but that purpose should be embedded in a moving experience. I don’t know yet if I will get there, but I am on my way. I hope you’ll join me.
The Gallery Walk (Ten Minutes)
I love the technique called the Gallery Walk. I believe it gives the students the chance to get out of their seats, speak with their peers, and evaluate something that is creative. In this case, the students will do a gallery walk through the results of the debrief sessions from their class and the others I would be teaching. I would have the easel papers posted throughout the room and ask them to take a tour in groups through the gallery (the classroom). I would had one person in the group Post-It® flags (hopefully I would be able to get each class its own color) and ask them to put a flag on whatever item most caught their attention.
This exercise would help me and others to understand the mindset of the students as we start to read the novel.
Here’s an example of an easel paper that might have resulted from the debrief:
We would read for fifteen minutes. There is a comprehensive introduction in my copy of the book, but I would skip it for now. I want the students to connect what they know with what they will learn. Honestly, I often skip introductions like this because I feel that they ruin the book. Therefore, let’s begin.
I’d like to end the class with at least ten minutes of discussion. As I write this, I have not read for fifteen minutes yet. In my next post, I will let you know the questions that came to mind as I read for fifteen minutes.