Facebook
Edutopia on Facebook
Twitter
Edutopia on Twitter
Google+
Edutopia on Google+
Pinterest
Edutopia on Pinterest Follow Me on Pinterest
WHAT WORKS IN EDUCATION The George Lucas Educational Foundation

The Art of the Novel Study

The Art of the Novel Study

Related Tags: Arts
More Related Discussions
10 Replies 3696 Views
Hi everyone, I thought it might be good to share some ideas on how you are using the arts to enliven traditional forms of teaching. Let's start with that very familiar middle and high school structure: the novel study. Many of us have been using a very traditional form of looking at novels--usually involving answering a series of questions on plot, character and setting. But I know that some of you have been using various arts-based activities to transform the dreaded novel study into something that takes on a new life in your classroom. I would love to have you share some of these ideas! The holiday season is often a time to recharge, review and renew and so I thought that it would be good if we had some new ways of thinking over which to "mull"...just like our cider. An example: our class has been doing some work on monologues over the first term. One idea that I've proposed to students is to develop and present a monologue around an important incident or theme in the novel that they are reading. The idea is to have them dig deeper into the thoughts and feelings of a main character, and think about some of the inner motivations, emotions and attitudes that might be attributed to the character. Still developing the idea and format, but that is one of the pieces of thinking with which I am currently working! Would love to hear your ideas! stephen

Comments (10 Replies)Sign in or register to postSubscribe to comments via RSS

Erika Saunders's picture
Erika Saunders
6th-8th Special Ed, LS & Mentally Gifted teacher

My son's class (8th grade) has literature circles. For one of his projects, he got to choose what he wanted to do from a list his teacher called "Pick Your Poison". He chose to pick 10 songs that represented what the character when through in the book and create a CD.

He absolutely LOVED this project - as do I! I haven't seen him so energized and excited around a school assignment in a long time. He's always been an honor student, in gifted classes, and scoring Advanced on the state tests. But he has been getting so bored with his traditional school. He just wasn't enjoying his learning. And it made me sad. I'm so happy he had an assignment like this to excite him again.

I'm hoping the classroom teachers I co-teach with will incorporate something like this into our classes. I see the same boredom (and worse) in our students.

Stephen Hurley's picture
Stephen Hurley
Grade Eight Teacher, Group Moderator, Facilitator/teacher arts@newman
Blogger 2014

What a great idea!

I would love it if your son's teacher could join us and share some of the other ideas!

stephen

Erika Saunders's picture
Erika Saunders
6th-8th Special Ed, LS & Mentally Gifted teacher

[quote]What a great idea!

I would love it if your son's teacher could join us and share some of the other ideas!

stephen[/quote]

Stephen:

I'll pass that along to her! She comes up with some really great ideas. My son says she's the only teacher he enjoys - it's easy to see why! I'm hoping to get some more good ideas from her myself!

Erika

Malaika Costello-Dougherty's picture
Malaika Costello-Dougherty
Former senior editor at Edutopia.

Hi, Just popped in on this discussion and had two Edutopia stories I want to call your attention to. One is about literature circles Classroom Literature Circles Expand Thought and the other is about using novels to teach social and emotional intelligence Use Literary Characters to Teach Emotional Intelligence. Hope this might help. I'm looking forward to more discussion about the Art of the Novel Study.

Thanks!

Malaika

Malaika Costello-Dougherty's picture
Malaika Costello-Dougherty
Former senior editor at Edutopia.

I'm so excited about this discussion. I just came across an interesting story that I thought might make a piece for Edutopia about a school where teachers "catch" their students reading outside of class.

Another piece I want to point your attention to is our recent story on innovative ways to teach Shakespeare.

What do you think? Will this be useful to you in the classroom?

Malaika

Gaetan Pappalardo's picture
Gaetan Pappalardo
Teacher, Author, Guitar––Word.
Facilitator 2014

Now Playing>>
Band: Cursive
Record: The Ugly Organ
Track: Art is Hard

I have my third graders create comic versions of major parts of a story. The writer's skill in description and narration really shines or stumbles when you need to sketch it. It's a great writing lesson. It also "opens" the story a bit when you see it visually.

I think this would be great with novels. It would give the students a break from the normal "answer the question" routine and give the artists a chance to show their stuff.

Gaetan

Karen Anderson's picture

[quote]My son's class (8th grade) has literature circles. For one of his projects, he got to choose what he wanted to do from a list his teacher called "Pick Your Poison". He chose to pick 10 songs that represented what the character when through in the book and create a CD. He absolutely LOVED this project - as do I! I haven't seen him so energized and excited around a school assignment in a long time. He's always been an honor student, in gifted classes, and scoring Advanced on the state tests. But he has been getting so bored with his traditional school. He just wasn't enjoying his learning. And it made me sad. I'm so happy he had an assignment like this to excite him again. I'm hoping the classroom teachers I co-teach with will incorporate something like this into our classes. I see the same boredom (and worse) in our students.[/quote]

What were some of the other ideas she had on the list? I make my students complete project based bookreports(newspapers, powerpoints, etc) and I am always looking for new ideas.

kvanek's picture
kvanek
Academic Trainer at Houston ISD

I just taught a class today (to teachers serving students with dyslexia. It's so important that multi-sensory learning strategies are used with these students who are so bright and creative, yet challenged when it comes to gaining information from print.) I had small groups assigned to parts of a story (or novel) and they each had to come up with an artistic rendition of a sumamry of their part. The choice of medium was theirs. Many chose the visual arts, but a few chose music or dance to summarize their part of the story. The conversations were so rich and the enthusiasm level was too. Their projects will remain available to all students as an artifact and mental key to remembering each part of the story. There realy is no limit to what can be done by including the arts to connect with the study of novels, science concepts, math, and social studies. The investment of time is so worth it as it leads to such depth of thinking and student engagement.

cgwrenn's picture
cgwrenn
AVID Coordinator/10th Grade AVID Elective Teacher from Chicago, Illinois

My 10th grade students are reading in traditional literature cirlces. However, as a culminating, collaborative activity, each group will use Photostory or Movie-Maker to make a book trailer. This will incorporate problem-solving/communication skills, writing and revising using a graphic organizer story board, technology, and finally oral language development. I can't wait to see the finished products; it will be interesting to note how their digital trailers influence the 4th quarter book selections.

Sign in and Join the Discussion! Not a member? Register to join the discussion.