Add Art After discussing the story, ask students to locate a comic strip or a copy of a work of art which might portray a common theme from the novel or short story they’ve just read. Students must first explain the theme they understood in the fiction piece. Next, they must explain how they interpreted the comic or artwork. Finally, they should be able to discuss the similarities and differences that connect the literature to the art. This activity can be used to practice presentational speaking, comparison and contrast writing skills, or both.
Puppet Show Performance After reading a young adult novel, students will create puppets to represent characters. Then they will rewrite the story for an audience of children. Afterwards, they will perform a puppet show for a younger audience. If students are currently reading non-fiction, have them create a mobile to demonstrate the main ideas and significant details of the article. Students can use the mobile as a reference for retelling the article for a younger audience.
Across Genres Read poetry and picture books with a similar theme as the novel they’ve just completed. Have students compare and contrast the way the theme is presented in each genre and how characters responded to the conflicts in the story which led to the theme.
Getting Graphic About Characters Students will create character profiles after completing a work of fiction. First, make a graphic organizer by folding a sheet of paper letter-style to create a six-slot organizer front and back. At the top of each column, they must draw a picture of the character. In the column below, they will add details about each character. Finally, students can make note of any changes the character underwent during the course of the novel.
Keeping Structure in Line Create an outline for a non-fiction article. Help your students practice how to break down main ideas and details, how to visualize an essay’s structure, and even how to comprehend what Roman numerals mean. Once they understand how to create an outline, they will refer to this skill again and again.
Conference Time Have students hold a classroom press conference. Ask your students to assume the roles of characters from anovel they’ve read. Prepare the class by asking them to write down what they were thinking and feeling as a certain character during pivotal moments in the novel. Have the class take turns assuming the roles. The remainder of the class can use the questions they’ve accumulated in their dialectical journals to ask during the press conference or they can simply create spontaneous questions. Make sure to time the interview sessions if you’d like each student to have an opportunity to assume a different role.