Beginning our Novel Study - A Wrinkle in Time

by Mrs. Nilsen on September 29th, 2013

Weekly ELA News 9/23 - 9/27

The book

"It was a dark and stormy night."

What a fantastic lead to a terrific book.  We've started our novel study of A Wrinkle in Time.   Students haven't wanted to stop reading.  The first chapter introduces our main character, Meg.  Parents feel free to ask your student what they think of Meg so far.  Of the other characters?  Students, feel free to add your thoughts to the comments below.  How do they act?  How do they feel?  How do they look?  What do they say that helps you make your claims?  I can't wait to get further into this book.  It's one of my favorite books of all time!  But what is a tesseract?!

The reading

We are reading at a pace of a chapter per week.  Students are expected to read (or listen to) the book at home.  We will read as much as possible of it in class as well, but the majority of our class time is set aside for discussions and introduction to literary analysis with the book.  Even for students who have read the book before, there's so much to learn!  Below are the due dates for reading the chapters.  The reading is due at the start of class.

Ch 1 - Thurs. Sept 19th
Ch2 - Thurs. Sept 26th
Ch 3 - Thurs. Oct 3rd
Ch 4 - Thurs. Oct 10th
Ch 5 - Thurs. Oct 24th
Ch 6 - Mon. Oct 26th
Ch 7 - Thurs. Nov 7th
Ch 8 - Thurs. Nov 14th
Ch 9 - Thurs. Nov 21st
Ch 10 - Mon. Nov 25th
Ch 11 - Thurs. Dec 5th
Ch 12 - Thurs. Dec 12th

The homework

Students have a few different ongoing bits of homework and assessment that go along with this novel study.  They are listed and explained below:
Vocabulary Study using Context Clues

Each chapter of WiT (A Wrinkle in Time), students will have one vocabulary word they are in charge of finding for the class.  They will know their vocab. word on Monday and have until the following Thursday to complete this assignment.

On a notecard, students are to write their name, the word, their guess at what it means (using the context clues) and then to look it up and write the real definition.  We will be putting the cards up on our word wall as we explore new words and ideas over the term.  
Check out the image for an idea of what the cards should look like.

Every 3 chapters, students will have an in class quiz.  It is mostly multiple choice with perhaps one short answer and/or drawing question.  Students are allowed to use their chapter review notes and their books to help them on the quizzes.  
Chapter Review

Every two chapters, students will turn in a Chapter Review sheet.  (see attachment) 

Step 1:
Write (and or draw) what happened in the chapter.  I'm looking for the main plot points from the chapter.

Step 2:
Character Analysis - choose 3 characters from the chapter and tell me something NEW we learned about them.  This should get deeper as we move through the book.  We will be talking about this in class as we read.

Step 3:
Vocabulary - every chapter, students will have one word to try to figure out using context clues.  I will assign the words.  They will fill it out on a note card (see vocab word assignment).  I also want them to write the correct definition on their summary page.  Students will have different words to allow for differentiation and to help each other learn new vocabulary.

Step 4:
Literary Analysis - we will be covering a different literary analysis concept every chapter.  (For example: chapter 1 is Point of View; chapter 2 is Direct and Indirect characterization)  This will be posted in the classroom and I will try to put them in this section of the chapter review assignments.  Students are to copy down the term and definition.  (extension is to give me an example from the chapter).

Step 5:
Prediction - good readers practice predicting.  Even if students have read the book before, they may catch things that they didn't notice before and forget details.  A sentence or two will suffice.  

Copies of this assignment are printed two-sided in my class so that students can do two chapters and then turn them both in.  Feel free to print the attachment if needed, though.  You can find the digital copy on Engrade.  Students are welcome to type them if that is easier.
Final Assessment

At the end of the unit, we will have a project to count as their final assessment for the book.  It will include two parts, one more test based on literary analysis, one more art based also focusing on literary analysis.  More to come on the unit assessments when we get closer to time.  
If students or parents have any questions or concerns about any of the above assignments, please let me know.  We are trying to read as much as possible out-loud in class together, but will not be able to do that for the entire novel.  It will be up to students to read it at home some too.  It's an amazing book that can teach us a lot about life, being kind to and believing in ourselves, and the power of love.  It's one of my favorite units of the entire year!  

Looking Forward

Posted in 6th Grade ELA Updates    Tagged with WiT, Novel study


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