Friday, June 17, 2016

No Prep Whole-Class Novel Study Final Project

Are you tired of the same old paper and pencil tests at the end of a text? Are your students struggling with remembering the details from a novel or play that you've studied in class? Are you searching for a fun, collaborative alternative? Look no further, I have the solution for you - whole-class novel study

While this project is quite informal in its presentation, the final outcome is very fulfilling. Below, you will find a detailed analysis of the project. I have recently posted this project to my store, so if you are looking for a no-prep project with all of the necessary and editable documents, you can click HERE. The information below, will give you an in-depth lookinto the project.
Are you looking for a whole-class novel study project for your upper elementary, middle school, or high school students? Then you're going to love this idea! Choose ANY novel you're using in the classroom and have your students create a comic book-like outline, so that anyone gains understanding. It'll be a hit in your 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, or 12th grade classroom! Click through to see how easy this is to complete in the classroom. {Great technology integration!}
What is the whole-class novel study project?
The entire class will create a comic book-like outline of the text, so that anyone that has not yet read it, could read through it and gain an understanding of what took place in less than a few minutes.

The Process

1. Assign Teams: Assign your students into group or have them choose their own groups. I have found that 5-6 students per group has been an effective number, but it can definitely be done with more or less (there may just be more or less responsibilities for the team). In my classroom, I have found it to be helpful to create the groups myself; this helps to ensure that productive students are a part of each group, while giving everyone an opportunity to work together in a fun, creative way. 
Are you looking for a whole-class novel study project for your upper elementary, middle school, or high school students? Then you're going to love this idea! Choose ANY novel you're using in the classroom and have your students create a comic book-like outline, so that anyone gains understanding. It'll be a hit in your 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, or 12th grade classroom! Click through to see how easy this is to complete in the classroom. {Great technology integration!}
2. Create Sections: If you are using this for a whole-class novel study, divide your book into sections. I have found that 5 sections has been an efficient number. For example, when I have used this project for a Shakespearean play, I've divided the sections into the number of acts within the play. 

3. Prioritize Scenes: Once students are with their assigned teams and the sections are in order, students are then to review their specific sections (or chapters) and identify the key scenes. Their goal is to choose the scenes with the greatest importance (including those that lead up to it). 

Once they have their list of most importance scenes, they will organize them in consecutive order from least important to most important. I have found that a list of 6 scenes has been a sufficient number, but that can definitely be changed to suit the needs of the class size and/or age of the students. 
Are you looking for a whole-class novel study project for your upper elementary, middle school, or high school students? Then you're going to love this idea! Choose ANY novel you're using in the classroom and have your students create a comic book-like outline, so that anyone gains understanding. It'll be a hit in your 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, or 12th grade classroom! Click through to see how easy this is to complete in the classroom. {Great technology integration!}
4. Pick Lines: Once the scenes are in order, the group members will come up with two or three lines that best illustrate that scene. Students may need to review a page or two, in order to fully grasp what they are wanting to capture. 

5. Paraphrase: This is where the students will truly need to understand what they are reading! If they are using a play by Shakespeare, students will need to identify the meaning of the original text and put it into "modern language". 

6. Create Scene: Once students have a good idea of what they have read and want to capture for their scenes, then the real fun can begin!
  • First, students need to brainstorm ideas on how they want to physically capture the scene.
  • Next, they can plan out where they might like to take their pictures. If you have the flexibility of extra supervision for the whole-class novel study groups, you can send along someone to monitor the students, while they take their photos.   
  • Finally, take the photos! Cameras will be required to take the photos, which will capture a variety of characters, emotions and thoughts.  
7. Incorporate Text: Once the students have taken their photos, students can use a variety of editing apps and software to enhance their images (although, this is really not necessary). I suppose it depends on how much time you have and the availability of the technology, but I honestly prefer when students incorporate a few of their own props with images that have not been enhanced. It adds to the authenticity of the final product. Students can add their descriptions that they brainstormed (Step 4) and their respective speech and thought bubbles. 

Example from Act 4 of Macbeth
Are you looking for a whole-class novel study project for your upper elementary, middle school, or high school students? Then you're going to love this idea! Choose ANY novel you're using in the classroom and have your students create a comic book-like outline, so that anyone gains understanding. It'll be a hit in your 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, or 12th grade classroom! Click through to see how easy this is to complete in the classroom. {Great technology integration!}
 Example from Act 3 of A Midsummer Night's Dream
Are you looking for a whole-class novel study project for your upper elementary, middle school, or high school students? Then you're going to love this idea! Choose ANY novel you're using in the classroom and have your students create a comic book-like outline, so that anyone gains understanding. It'll be a hit in your 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, or 12th grade classroom! Click through to see how easy this is to complete in the classroom. {Great technology integration!}
Why this whole-class novel study project works:
This whole-class novel study project is successful because students are held responsible for knowing and understanding the facts and information from a text that they just studied. 

In addition, they have an opportunity to work collaboratively with their classmates, they get to use technology to re-create the scenes and they will likely develop a better understanding of the text through this group process. 

Lastly, I print out colored images on their group scenes for each student to include in their final portfolio at the end of the semester!
Are you looking for a whole-class novel study project for your upper elementary, middle school, or high school students? Then you're going to love this idea! Choose ANY novel you're using in the classroom and have your students create a comic book-like outline, so that anyone gains understanding. It'll be a hit in your 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, or 12th grade classroom! Click through to see how easy this is to complete in the classroom. {Great technology integration!}
What alternative final assignments have you tried?

Want even more great whole-class novel study activities? 

5 comments:

  1. Love this idea! Thanks for sharing!

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  2. Awesome! Thanks for the feedback, Erika!

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  3. I plan to teach a novel in my upper division science courses and had planned on having a final paper or project that would be coordinated with the language arts teacher. Now I'm rethinking that! Thanks for the great idea!

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  4. Awesome, Jennifer! I think you will be happy with the end result of this! This was a favorite project among my students.

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  5. Hey, I love this idea! Does it mean that the class doesn't have to read the entire book? Or did they have to read it entirely first?

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