My Pre-IB’s are finishing up their readers’ workshop; after the break we’ll start a full-class novel. The last few days we were discussing the various ways that authors develop their messages, and today we wrapped it up with a group activity that helped them make connections between texts. It worked well, so I thought I’d share.
The kids were to arrive to class with notes on theme development in their novels. Then, I used the following slides to guide them toward a theme statement:
Once they’d done some thinking about the themes in the books they had read individually, I had them to gather in groups of five to share their work with each other. Then, they had to work together to come up with an over-riding theme that could tie together all of their novels.
They had some really good discussions about their texts and great debate about the best way to form an umbrella statement. When I questioned them after, they said it was much easier to do for their own books and that it was difficult to find one statement that could apply to all. So I asked, “Then why did I ask you to do it?”
“‘Cause you wanted us to think,” was the reply, in unison. I’ve got them well trained!