Overview

In this activity, students learn to get the most out of a novel by looking up any references and/or words that they do not understand.

In groups, students read 1-2 pages (different pages for each group) from the novel and underline all the words/references (i.e. to popular culture, other books etc.) that they do not understand. They then look up a definition for each and pick one or two words/concepts that they want to focus on, providing some additional information. With this information, they create a short powerpoint to ...

Read More +

In this activity, students learn to get the most out of a novel by looking up any references and/or words that they do not understand.

In groups, students read 1-2 pages (different pages for each group) from the novel and underline all the words/references (i.e. to popular culture, other books etc.) that they do not understand. They then look up a definition for each and pick one or two words/concepts that they want to focus on, providing some additional information. With this information, they create a short powerpoint to share with the class.

Once everyone is finished, students do a short gallery walk, looking at each other's’ work. The presentations were then uploaded on the class website for students to use throughout the semester.

This activity can be done before this other one, so as to prepare students to be able to read the novel more in-depth.

Read Less -

Objectives

  • To get used to reading a novel more in depth, looking up the aspects/words that are unclear and understand this is part of every reader’s process;
  • To introduce students to the universe and style of the novel;
  • Show students how much can be going on in one paragraph of text.

Context and requirements

Level College
Discipline English
Course Contemporary American Fiction
Activity Content Contemporary American fiction; literary analysis; reading strategies.
Technological Requirements Interactive whiteboards and/or computers

Author’s Notes

Benefits

  • If done when students are just beginning to read a novel, it allows them to learn to search for things they do not understand and engage in a more thorough reading process;
  • This activity involves everyone in the search process, which then creates a tangible output that the instructor and other students can learn from and evaluate.

Challenges

  • Instead of conducting more in-depth research, students often used book-analysis websites.

Tips

  • This activity can also be a useful time to talk about citing sources;
  • To keep motivation, it could be useful to create a consolidation activity through the gallery walk, so that students continue engaging with each other’s work;
  • Encourage students to incorporate pictures – make it as user-friendly as possible, so each presentation can effectively be used as a tool throughout the semester.

Activity Pedagogical Components

Gallery Walk

Students complete a gallery walk to learn from and comment on each other’s work.

For a description of this strategy, please see here.

Download Flowchart