This is my very first blog post. How exciting! I am new to the whole blogging experience, but I am very intrigued by it. I have followed many teaching blogs since I started teaching. I have always wanted to create my own, but never knew where to start and couldn’t find the time to get the jumpstart. Being that my students and I are on Spring Break and it is coming to an end, I figured now would be the perfect time.
I decided to share the experience my students just had reading an amazing novel. We spent a month focusing on it and we finished it right before going on spring break. I truly recommend this novel to everyone, including adults. My students were having a difficult time reading novels. By difficult I do not mean that they could not read them, but instead did not seem to enjoy them. As a bookworm, I am always trying to convince other people to read. I remember reading a beautiful story a few years back and always thinking this would be a great story to share with my students. That is when I introduced my students to The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane.
The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane is a story about a china rabbit doll that learns to love more than just himself. His journey is both funny and heartwarming. However, like most books, the ending is the best and left my students wanting more.
Throughout the course of our novel study, my students engaged in numerous actives. Most of the activities I found were not my original ideas. I have to admit I got most of my ideas from Pinterest. (What did teachers do before the internet?) However, one activity that was my own idea and that my students really responded to and enjoyed was taking home our own “Edward Tulane dolls” and writing their own journeys with them. I searched everywhere for Edward Tulane dolls, but I could not find anything that was reasonably priced. I came across these two rabbit dolls on eBay that portrayed the character perfectly.
In the story, Edward gets separated from his original owner and gets renamed with each new owner he encounters. He even gets dressed as a girl! So imagine how thrilled I was finding these two! When we concluded with the novel we spent some time doing after novel activities, such as:
1) Writing alternate endings to the story- As great as the novel was, my students got so involved in the story that they had so many unanswered questions. This gave them the opportunity to get creative and have their unanswered questions fulfilled.
2) Writing Letter to the Author – Students drafted letters to the author Kate DiCamillo asking her questions about the story and explaining what their favorite parts in the book were. Once the students come back from spring break, they will be finalizing their letters and sending them to her. (Fingers crossed we get some responses!)
3) Talk Show Skit – This was definitely a class favorite! Students worked in groups to act out a talk show skit. One student acted as the talk show host, while the others acted as characters from the book. It was amazing to see how creative they got with the questions and responses.
Well… I guess that is all for my first post. Let me know if you have any questions or suggestions for me! 🙂