Saturday, November 23, 2013

Book Project Menus and The City of Ember

I have been working with the above-level reading group during our Tier 2 support time.  Some call it RTI, we call it MTSS (Multi-Tiered System of Support).  Don't ask.

The best part about our tier time is that we can meet with students at their level and keep things interesting for them.  I meet with this group 4 days a week and I love every second of it.  They love reading!  It is so easy to get them involved and excited.

If you want to skip ahead to my list of book menus and other great (free) resources, then take a little stroll to the bottom of this page.

To start, we all read The City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau.  We have been talking about electricity in science and it just worked out perfectly.  Cross-curricular.  Boom.

A few had read it before but they had no problem jumping back in and rereading the story.  We worked through a few basic story element pieces.  Then I assigned each of them a level of the city depending on how far they were in the book and they created it on paper.

The bottom level fell apart, so it isn't pictured, which is too bad
because they made it three-dimensional and it was really cool!

When we finished the book, we developed games that corresponded with the story.  I loved seeing their game ideas.  Some chose game boards and others decided on other game variations.  They used details from the story to develop their ideas and there was so much higher level thinking!  They would have played their games all day every day if I let them.  I'm such a downer.

top left: Emberly, a city based on Ember, with game cards using details from the book
top right: City of Ember trivia game
bottom left: board game with main characters as game pieces
bottom right: I have Who has game

Some even continued with the sequel, The People of Sparks, and made their own dictionaries while they waited for the rest of the group to finish their games.

Yesterday I started a new project with them.  Probably not great timing the week before Thanksgiving when we only have one day next week.  Oh well.  They just read at so many different speeds that it was getting tricky to keep everyone together.  And then I thought...why am I doing that?  This group can work independently.

I'm letting the students pick any book they would like to read- within reason, although we haven't had any issues with this group.  I scoured the web and found a book menu that I really liked from the Round Lake school district in Illinois, so I thought I'd share it.  It had just enough complexity for our class time, but was also something they can work on independently with some guidance from me.

I put together a short list of my favorite book menus I found along the way.  I tried to find a range of age appropriate menus but most are probably for 3rd-6th graders, and all of them are free, so check them out!

....and if you're looking for Scholastic's entire book entitled {30 Non-Fiction Book Reports}, you can find it {here}.  ...whoops.  Save that somewhere for future use!  Quick!

During my search I also found a book of forms for {Teaching Gifted Kids in the Regular Classroom}.  It is really great if you have some higher level thinkers in your room!

Seriously check these out.  You won't be disappointed.

During group time we are reading and then they work on whatever project they chose.  Each student may be at a different point in their project, but that is the best part!  This way they have choice in their reading and what they are making and sharing.  Anything to keep them motivated.

Any more ideas for small group time (I have 12 in this group) to keep students interested and challenged?


1 comment:

  1. Thanks for all the great ideas! I just finished reading the book and will be having my 4th graders read it this coming school year.