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Although once you reach the end of the novel you will want to give a formal assessment, with a novel as fun as this one, there are many ways to assess the students as they read. In order to get them ready for the many riddles lurking around each page, use the downloadable riddles handout to let them try to solve the riddles. Although the riddles may be familiar to educators, you might be surprised at how hard your students have to work to arrive at the answer. Put them in groups or give them a partner and see if they can be the next Robert and Sophie!
Once you are more immersed in the novel, it’s time to try and solve some of Dan Brown’s riddles that did not make into the pages of the text. Three riddles, whose answers can be found on Brown’s website, should be distributed to the students (access the website here: http://www.randomhouse.com/doubleday/davinci/index-utc.php.) They are stair-step codes, meaning the students cannot solve the second code without finding the answer to the first code. It’s a great way to check and make sure they’ve been reading, since the answers are mentioned in the novel.
When it’s time to study that famous painting, The Last Supper, see if they can correctly name all the guests. Use the word scramble for a quick quiz grade and give them one hint for help- Mary is NOT on this list. It will not be a hard assessment for the students, but it’s one more way to give their grades a boost!
Finally, although nobody who reads The Da Vinci Code will ever forget its intricate and exciting plot, make sure each student takes a piece of the book with them after reading. Assign a memorization of one of the codes and have students learn it and recite it for the class. Give them a grade for correctly stating the assigned code word for word. They’ll never forget their memorization, or the book, that’s for sure!
Click on the bolded links above to download the assessments. Happy reading!