Saturday, September 24, 2011

Great Book Choice = Great Depth

This week, one of my reading blocks finished reading a FANTASTIC book, The Books of Elsewhere, Shadows, by Jacqueline West.

It's a fantasy book, with a female main character...sort of a Harry Potter meets Nancy Drew. I am not apt to pick up a fantasy book if I have the choice, but this book had me on the edge of my seat (not to mention all of them).

Those of you looking for WELL WRITTEN text for your child - here it is. The descriptive writing evokes wonderful imagery opportunities, and involves all their senses. The characters are complex and rich - you can analyze for hours!

We focused on a few aspects of character analysis and development:

The progression/change of a character from beginning to end
The traits inferred from her physical attributes, thoughts, words, and actions
Her actions and words as "windows" to a characters beliefs, biases, values, and background.
How characters interact and how those relationships affect events and choices
How characters' choices alter the events and events affect character's choices
How values affect character's motivations

We had amazing discussions and their thinking went deep.

I also began taking them to that next level: When we analyze the character, and with that new understanding, what do we better UNDERSTAND about the book/story? It's one thing to be able to analyze and know that inferential level, but take it further - how does that information affect YOU...the book...the author's purpose?

Wow. Second, Third, and Fourth Graders grappling with that on the 5th week of school...we've only just begun!

1 comment:

  1. Rhea loved this book too...she told me the story every nite as you'all were reading it