Advanced Reading Update

Patterns of Change Novel Study

Patterns of Change Unit

In Reading we have begun our "Patterns of Change" unit. This is a language arts unit developed at the William and Mary Center for Gifted Education. The goals of this unit are: to develop analytical and interpretive skills in literature, to develop linguistic competency, and to develop reasoning skills in language arts.

Our unique objective for this unit is to develop an understanding of the concept of cyclic change in the language arts. Inside this big concept are these outcomes:

-Understand that a cycle is a pattern in which the end leads to the beginning.

-Map out cyclic patterns found in literary works.

-Interpret cycles as destructive, constructive, or neutral in selected works.

-Identify instances in which cycles become spirals (new elements change the cycle while leaving it intact)

-Identify instances of broken cycles.

-Categorize types of cyclical change as natural or imposed by people.

-Analyze the effects of cycles on perceptions and on the environments in which they occur.

In class we are reading short stories, essays, and many poems. Students are also all going to complete a novel study project. They will receive this project this week. There are due dates for different sections of work but the entire project is due January 27. They will have one class session a week to work on their novel study and the rest will be done independently. Students who choose to do so may work on the project over Winter Break but that is NOT required. Please let me know if you feel that the assignment is too much for your student to complete independently and I will work with them to adapt the assignment. I truly believe these advanced readers are ready for this type of independent reading project. Please see more information below.

Novel Project

Students will choose one of five novels to read and study through the completion of several activities. It is my hope that after hearing about the other novels many students will choose to read more than one. I will be doing book previews tomorrow. If you have an opinion or a connection to these novels you may want to share that with your student tonight or tomorrow night. Students are often more interested than you may think in their parents' opinions and experiences in reading!

The novels are:

The Watsons Go to Birmingham, 1963 by Christopher Paul Curtis

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L’Engle

Bridge to Terebithia by Katherine Paterson

A Long Way From Chicago by Richard Peck

Maniac Magee by Jerry Spinelli

The activities and writing they must complete will SLOW down their reading. This will be frustrating for some students. The goal is for them to study one novel in depth. The students know this project is coming and many have expressed excitement at getting to choose what they read. I am looking forward to helping these readers delve into these interesting and thought provoking novels.