A little over a week ago I had a school visit to Ralph Williams Elementary School. Probably the last school visit for a while, given the current situation with the Covid 19 Virus. Anyway, as I was preparing to leave after my hour-long time with the 4thGraders, one class asked if I would like to come back to their classroom to see their projects based on one of my books. Would I!? Of course!
They had dug deeper into Saving Home through a variety of projects. These kinds of projects are such a great way to get kids to examine the text and meaning of a book on levels and in ways that just reading the book can not do.
With so many children across the country home from school and relying on distance learning, I know parents , teachers, and families are scrambling for ways to keep children learning and engaged. Having them create fun projects from books they have enjoyed is a great way to encourage their higher-level thinking skills.
Done with either a short picture book or a longer chapter book, here are some fun activities to help kids dig a little deeper into a book:
- Select a specific character and create a three-dimensional character. Be sure to scour the book for details and text information such as eye/hair color, clothing, etc. It can be out of clay, sock puppets, any items around the house.
- Create Journal Entries as if you were that character. Maybe reflecting on the events in the books.
- Take a scene in the book and create a model of that event.
- Create a diorama of the setting of the story or a scene in the book.
- Turn the book (if it is a short book) or a chapter of the book, into a play. Children can actually write the screen-play and then perform it.
- Conduct a Literary Scavenger Hunt through the book. Scour the pages to look for examples of alliteration, similes, metaphors, foreshadowing, flashbacks, and other types of literary techniques.
- If it is historical fiction, find other historical fiction books set during the same time period and compare how each author approached the historical events. Then read some nonfiction text on the same period and examine the similarities and differences. (Venn Diagrams and Triple Venn Diagrams are a fun way to compare and contrast.)
As Charles W Elliot said: “Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers.”
During this very tumultuous time, let us fill our children’s lives with books!