I am teaching the novel The House of Dies Drear by Virginia Hamilton in summer school this year with sixth through eighth grade students. Originally, I had planned to teach the book like I have taught others in the past. I would read aloud a couple chapters and the students would do some skill work based on whatever I wanted them to work on. In fact, the first lesson was going to be a simple friendly letter.
When I came home tonight I was reflecting on getting the students to write tomorrow when I realized that what I really want my students to get out of this month is to have a fun time reading a story. I think that teaching a novel by breaking it up and working with skills takes away from the "flow" of the story. To a certain extent I think we lose the author's voice when we continually pull the students out of the prose.
I decided tonight that we are going to read the book aloud from beginning to end without stopping for skills work. I won't ask directed question, point out figurative language, or even talk about character development. I will simply share the words as the author has written them. (I will answer any questions students ask about the story, just like I would do if I were reading it to my daughters at bedtime.)
So here is the first written lesson plan for summer school:
Objective: TSW enjoy reading the first couple chapters of The House of Dies Drear.
Activity: The student will listen to me read the first couple chapters of The House of Dies Drear.
Guided Practice: None
Independent Practice: None