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Whole Novels for the Whole Class
Whole Novels for the Whole Class is the hands-on resource that teachers can use to help students develop a genuine love of reading and a community in which to practice it. Written by classroom teacher Ariel Sacks, this practical, field-tested book offers a step-by-step guide for implementing a student-centered literature program that promotes critical thinking and literary understanding through the study of novels and other texts. Rather than ...
Whole Novels for the Whole Class
Whole Novels for the Whole Class is the hands-on resource that teachers can use to help students develop a genuine love of reading and a community in which to practice it. Written by classroom teacher Ariel Sacks, this practical, field-tested book offers a step-by-step guide for implementing a student-centered literature program that promotes critical thinking and literary understanding through the study of novels and other texts. Rather than using novels simply to teach basic literacy skills and comprehension strategies, Sacks's Whole Novels method approaches literature as art.
This unique way into reading and comprehension is designed to align with the Common Core ELA Standards and is filled with tips for implementing whole novel studies in various settings. Using this novel technique can help struggling readers gain the confidence to tackle grade-level novels independently, reluctant students become avid discussers of literature who can powerfully argue their points, and outspoken students discover new channels for their voices in writing.
While boosting reading comprehension, the whole novel approach can be successfully integrated into other classroom programs.
"Yes, yes. To read a well-crafted book requires a leap of faith, losing oneself for a time. And yet we don't practice—much less even encourage—that kind of reading in our schools. Ariel Sacks both makes the argument for doing so and offers the stories we need from classrooms where it's being done."
—Deborah Meier, teacher, author, and board member of the Coalition of Essential Schools
"Reminiscent of masterworks, Ariel's book is an exquisite blending of the best in literacy theory and classroom practice that could only be written by someone who actually does this every day with real students."
—Renee A. Moore, NBCT, English teacher, author, and education blogger
About the Author vii
PART 1 ESSENTIAL PRACTICES 11
1 A Case for Whole Novels for the Whole Class 13
Parts of the Whole: My Annual Curriculum Map 30
2 Selecting the Right Books—Five Dimensions of Good Chemistry 35
3 Authentic Note Taking—Three Levels of Thinking, Three Levels of Response 68
Parts of the Whole: A View of Whole Novel Study from Start to Finish 102
4 Whole Novel Discussions—Everyone Has a Voice 107
Parts of the Whole: Lessons from Beginning Teachers on Whole Novels 136
5 Making the Writing Connection—Harnessing Students’ Drive to Say Something 141
PART 2 MAKING WHOLE NOVELS WORK IN REAL-WORLD CONTEXTS 177
6 Setting Expectations, Building Accountability—The Launch and Beyond 179
Parts of the Whole: My Classroom Setup 207
7 Developing Students’ Critical Reading and Comprehension—Activities We Do along the Way 214
Parts of the Whole: Integrating Technology 249
8 Differentiating for Diversity—Whole Novels for All Students 253
9 Analyzing the Results—What We Know and Where We Can Go 296
Appendix A: Transcription of Whole Novel Discussion Notes 315
Appendix B: Spanish Translation of the Parent Letter 325
Appendix C: Notes Worksheet for Picture Book Study 327
Appendix D: Directions for Plot Charting Activity 329
Appendix E: Seeker Opportunity Assignment Choices 330
Appendix F: Student-Designed “Book Report” 332
Appendix G: Variations on a Theme Assignment 339
Appendix H: Hero’s Journey Cycle Activity 341