Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Wonderstruck (Brian Selznick)

I read this book years ago with my class. We did it again as an end of year novel study. Once again, it did not disappoint. This is a fantastic story. Brian Selznick seems to have a keen interest in theatre. Both this book and The Invention of Hugo Cabret involve cinema. Apparently his third book, The Marvels, does as well.

Goodreads Summary:

Reading it with my class this year was a really great experience. I got 9 copies of the book from the public library (thank you Calgary Public Library!) and we shared. I was so impressed with all the details we got this time around thanks to very observant students. Brian Selznick says that everything in his pictures is purposeful. I believe it!

Traditionally, when we do novel studies, it is paired with a workbook full of all sorts of comprehension questions, crossword puzzles, games and activities. I really simplified for this novel, and instead of a big booklet like that I usually use, we had a page where we wrote down cool vocabulary, some pages where we wrote summaries for each part of the book (it is divided into three parts) and then a page with finger spelling. At first, we'd stop when we came across cool words and write them down, but there was a lot of moaning and groaning. Eventually, I decided that isn't what real readers do. Instead, I gave them some sticky notes and had them put a sticky when they came across a word they thought was cool or didn't understand. The next day we'd start off our reading time by writing down 4 or 5 of these cool words and their definitions. Usually, we could get the meaning from the context. I encouraged kids, when they're reading other books, to use stickies to mark spots they want to remember to tell someone about or write about or have questions about.

Activity ideas:

  • Pair this book with Matchbox Diary and make our own boxes of wonder
  • Make a diorama about something we have been studying (pair with life cycle unit?)

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