Novel Study: Different Novels

I’ll admit it, I’ve been covetous of English teachers’ novel studies for a long time and I’ve just been trying to figure out how it would work with my upper level students.  Completely unable to imagine what it might look like, I have been stalking English teachers like crazy and I have what we’ll call a blueprint in mind.  I am going to build this plane while flying it because sometimes the best way to see how something will work is to just see if it works!

The problems: I have a lot of good novels I am not using.  My Spanish 4 don’t need me to read with them any more.  I need to give lots of good input but also let them self select topics of interest… So I gave them this survey with 4 novel trailers to rank from 1-4!

Reading Club- Spanish 4 final read

Amazingly, nearly everyone got their first choice and my group sizes are 4-5.  (I do have one class that had two groups of 4 on the same novel.)

On Monday, students will be assigned groups and will receive the Reading Club welcome and rules for their novel:

Grupo Guerra      Grupo Oro     Grupo Rebelde

With only 5 weeks left and 14 chapter novels, we will read 3 chapters per week (Monday-Wednesday), will have a group discussion topic on Thursday each week.  Ex. Who is the strongest character in your novel and why?  and will do our normal Interpretive Internado Mania on Friday!  Oh and finish up our Musica Madness which is getting very heated!

Each day I will move from group to group asking questions and engaging them in out of the box thinking about the novels they are studying.

The final assessment will be a talk show.  I will host student group members as they role play characters in the novels in Dr.Phil-worthy situations!  The first day, 2 members from each group playing 2 distinct roles will be selected based on their comfort with using TL to set the example for subsequent days.  I’ll put the slowest processors in the middle and the middle at the end! 🙂

I’ll try to add posts regularly with some of the activities the groups are doing as they read.  And I’ll take lots of pictures!  Want to join us on the journey?  We might be able to set up some kind of partner school meet days in our Thursday discussions!

***Here are the character and event webs I’m giving! Notice the NOTHING! I want them to have creative liberty over how they web both!

Character Map      Event Map

Here is the grading rubric for class discussions:  I actually use this for ALL class discussions to keep them having a CONVERSATION not a fact-off!  I don’t keep track on the tally sheet any more!  I now have my Class Dojo set up with all the categories so I can keep it there.  The little Dojo sounds sure are motivating! 🙂

Grading Rubric Class Discussion

Day 1 Group summarizing activity: Comic Strip Retell




      • Oh, nice! I was wondering about having topics such as “My family is in crisis” or such. I am trying to think what a talk show might have (that would be appropriate in the classroom).

      • Since our novels are so wildly different (Noche de Oro, Rebeldes de Tejas, and Guerra Sucia), I am thinking that I’d like to do things that focus on literary features! That vocab is almost always cognatey! Protagonista, antagonista, escena más dramática..

  1. I also wondered how you would be grading the webs. I have used them as tools but never actually taken a “gradebook grade” on their completion.

  2. Thanks for the information. I’m doing something similar for my Advanced Spanish students and have been looking for information. Do you have instructions/templates for the character and event webs?

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