“Fiction over Fact” Literature circles reading process

Over the next week, we will be following the reading process outlined in the images below.  Use this as a guide as you read your allocated novels.

Holiday reading… NPR and Goodread’s ‘Best Books of 2013’

NPR has released its list of the best books of 2013 – check it out for all your holiday reading!  On my list was one of my favourite books that I read this year – ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ by Margaret Atwood.

Science-fiction is my favourite genre, and Goodreads has also released their ‘best of’ for the year.  Check it out here.

Anything on this list that you are keen to read?  Let me know!

Reading Journals

Reading journals contain short responses to stories you are reading at the moment.  They are a great way to develop a variety of reading skills.

• To help you capture your developing responses as a reader
• To help you understand what you are reading
• To show how you are improving as a reader

What you could write about (pick one or two per entry):
Speculations about how the story might develop (what will happen next?)
Accounts of things that have happened to you that you are reminded of by events in the book
Reflections on things in the book that really strike you
Reactions to characters and what they do
Comments on how the author is telling the story
Connections to other books, films, plays or poems that you have read
Questions you think of as you are reading
Inferences about the underlying messages of the text
Identification of the author’s purpose, important details, main ideas and themes
Evaluations and opinions about the text

When you could write a response:
• At the beginning of a book
• As you are reading
• After an interesting part of a story
• At the end of a book (definitely!)

Schools of literary criticism

While it may not be that useful at the moment, the following site will definitely come in handy when we begin to look at literature later this year.

There are also handy guides on reading, analysing and writing poetry.  Also, there is a section on subject-specific writing that may come in handy for other subjects.

Have a look when you get some time.  I hope it comes in handy later this year!



Learning how to learn: one stop resource!

Looking to learn some useful techniques on how to manage your time?  How about some tips on research?  Or maybe you need some help with reading and writing?

Whatever it is you are looking to improve, you can find it at the following site.  It really is a great collection that addresses many approaches to learning.

Check it out, and let me know if you find any part of the site particularly helpful in the comments below.



Symbols in Skellig

What do the following things have in common?

* Birds
* Skeletons and bones
* The Archaeopteryx
* Nests and eggs
* Wings
* Poems
* Chinese food (27 and 53 anyone?)
* Aspirin
* Arthritis

No idea?  Well, before we started reading ‘Skellig’ by David Almond, Grade 8 students attempted to make some connections as a way of predicting what this novel would be about.  Now, as we are reading the novel, we are starting to notice some of these symbols popping up quite frequently.  What do they mean?  Why did David Almond decide to put these things into his book?

If a symbol (or idea) recurs throughout a story, it is known as a motif.  These two literary devices can point the way towards suggested themes and messages within a text.  As we approach the end of the novel, keep an eye out for these important symbols and motifs and think to yourself: “What is the significance of this?  Why did David Almond include it in his story?”

If you happen to notice other symbols or motifs as we read, make a comment below!