Saturday, September 14, 2013

Tuesday Tried it - Genre Exposure

My good friend, Nick over at Sweet Rhyme and Pure Reason wrote about something he called Read Beads on September 7th. I was casually skimming through his idea when it dawned on me just how cool it really was. See, he had read The Book Whisperer and decided to require his students to read across the genres. All except horror which he wouldn't require his students to read (*GASP* my favorite genre!). Then they could fill out a short Book Review before they would earn their 'Bead' for that book. Each student has a string on a bulletin board that they add their beads to as the year progresses.

I began thinking that I'd like to try this in my class as well. So I started with his Reading Interest Survey (you can see the pictures on his blog) and then explained the idea behind the Book Review. Each of them would be required to read a set number of books from each genre throughout the year.

Nick has both of these forms at this link:

These two forms come bundled in my TpT store for just $1.

The students were interested right away, so I started hunting through my craft collection pretty certain that I had some of those colored pony beads Nick used. Yeah, I couldn't find them. What I found instead was a bag of leftover colorful plastic links I had used to make friendship bracelets last year. I got the bag at Jo-Ann's Fabric store for $3.99. One of my early finishers was put in charge of separating the links out into different colors. Then I tried to think of what would have a chain attached to it. It reminded me a bit of a leash. Puppies! I had each student come up and pick an animal.

Then I strung a clothesline across the back windows and clipped the student pictures on to that. I like the idea of having this visual in front of me so I know who to call up to discuss what are they doing to meet the requirements.

We had to talk a lot about what makes a good book review. I modeled several times what information to put down in this section of the Book Review. They kept wanting to just tell me the story and not include any personal opinion statements at all. We had to go back and forth a few times before I started seeing some results I could be happy with. I'm thinking they will get better and more elaborate with their opinions as we progress. 

Thanks Nick for a great idea!
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