Monday, January 16, 2017

Reading Divergent in the Classroom

Teaching through novels is kind of like my thing. 

I love them and think there are so many lessons to learn about life found within the pages of great books. 

When teaching my students our standards, I want to give them material they can sink their teeth into. Something they can get invested in. Something that will create a life long reader. 

To me, selections, excerpts, and passages just don't do that. 

If we read a selection of Divergent, say The Choosing Ceremony, we would know that Tris had to make a difficult decision and she went with what she thought was best. But, we would not fully understand her parent's reactions (especially her mother) we wouldn't be able to see how that one decision changed the course of her life, how even though she changed factions, she never fully left Abnegation behind. 

To know all of this you have to read the book.

And that is what I did with my 7th graders. 

We took 7 weeks to read Divergent.
The BEST book for Middle Schoolers!

I had them read a certain number of pages at home. 

Everyday in class, we had seminar.  When it was time for seminar (after written response and vocabulary time) we would push the tables to the side and set the chairs in a circle.

The students would start off by each sharing their favorite part and why.

Then, I had three questions prepared that really made the students dig deeper to focus on character motivations, intentions, and author's choice.

The discussions we had were amazing!  My little 7th graders had such great insights and comments; they loved the fact they were able to share their opinions.  They were able to talk about why it was dangerous to try to fit people into one category and how that related to topics they were discussing in social studies.

Seminars are a great way to get students to open up and talk about what we are reading, and how it relates to real life.  I always feel closer to my students after our Divergent unit.  In turn, my students feel like I value their opinion, even though they are just 7th graders. 

After seminar time, I have my students write about the chapters we read from Four's perspective in an online Google Doc. I try to get them to focus on not just retelling the story, but inferring how Four would have FELT, THOUGHT, and REACTED to the events that occurred. 

As a ticket out the door, the students tweet from selected characters.  It's nothing fancy, they just write from a character's POV on a sticky note and put it on the bulletin board as they leave. 

To get my Divergent Unit, CLICK HERE. It includes a reading outline, 117 open end questions for seminar or seminar written responses, Weekly Comprehension Quizzes (to make sure they are reading at night at home), and Twitter Board Printables.  It's jam packed!

Let me know if you have any questions about how I use this novel in my class!

Happy Teaching,

Post a Comment

On Instagram

© It's Always Sunny in Room 3. Made with love by The Dutch Lady Designs.