Friday, November 7, 2014

Build Excitement For Your Next Read Aloud!

I just finished up reading the novel Esperanza Rising to my 5th grade students.  They absolutely loved the book. When we wrapped things up with this novel study, students immediately began asking, "What are we reading next?"  

To build excitement and anticipation, I decided to do something a little different, rather than just TELL them what we're reading, I decided to reveal the book in a more exciting way.

I wrapped the novel in brown paper and wrote "This is our next novel."  Then, each day I added a clue.  My curious students couldn't stand it!  They came into the classroom every day and went straight to the book to read the next clue.  They had lots of guesses.

No matter how much prodding I got from students, I didn't give in and tell them the title.  I'll leave the big reveal for Monday when they return.  Have you guessed what the book is yet?  

We're beginning our Lucy Calkins' unit called "Tackling Complex Texts" in which we focus on historical fiction.  During this unit, we'll read this novel and I'll match my reading mini-lessons to the text.  Along with this novel, I am planning some great interactive read alouds- stay tuned for those!

Did you guess yet?  Here it is....

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas!  A fictional story set during World War II and written from the perspective of Bruno, an innocent young boy who doesn't understand the implications of war.  In the story, an unlikely friendship occurs between Bruno who has a father in the Nazi army and Shmuel who is Jewish and in a concentration camp.  Their friendship from two sides of a fence leads to unexpected consequences. You'll just have to read the book to find out how it turns out!  I have read this story several times to different groups of students and they are riveted by the story.  

During this historical fiction unit, our focus will be on World War II, with an emphasis on Holocaust related stories.  The Boy in the Striped Pajamas fits perfectly with this unit.  My fourth grade teaching buddy is reading Number the Stars.  This will be a great connection between fourth and fifth grade. Next year, my students will come into 5th grade with some background knowledge of this era in history.  Plus, we can make connections between the 
two novels.  

I'll post more information as we work our way through the novel.  What are some fun ways you like to reveal books to your students?

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