Friday, May 10, 2013

Historical Fiction Book Club Unit: Part 2

Students have been working hard these past two weeks to internalize and apply the skills/strategies I am teaching in mini-lessons into their book club books and conversations.  Since read aloud is an extremely important part of our day as a class, a lot of my modeling for writing and talking about reading occurs through read aloud.  Students have been watching me make different charts for each read aloud since the first day of school (and we have read A LOT of books) so they are "chart experts" themselves at this point and we are all learning strategies from one anther on ways we can keep track of and extend our thinking. 

At the beginning of our historical fiction unit, I read aloud about eight different picture books to expose students to various historical conflicts and time periods to help build their background knowledge about time periods they may be reading about in book clubs.  As we read and discussed these historical fiction picture books, students created their own charts in their reader's notebooks as they do during each read aloud, but they also had some time to create mini-charts as a small group/partnership to showcase their most important thinking about one of the read alouds.  This past week, in my morning message, I gave students the option of working on a mini-chart for a read aloud with a small group/partner until it was time for morning meeting.  Most students opted to create at least one and loved doing it! These mini-charts gave students an opportunity to collaborate with one another, determine what information/thinking was most important since they had limited space on the paper, and allowed them to express their thinking through sketches as well as words.  

Below are photos of mini-charts that small groups/partners created for some of our historical fiction picture book read alouds:  

Bulletin Board with Mini-Charts 

Example of Mini-Chart for The Other Side 

Example of Mini-Chart for Faithful Elephants 

Example of Mini-Chart for The Butterfly 

Example of Mini-Charts for Henry's Freedom Box

Example of Mini-Chart for Freedom on the Menu

Below are photos of some charts students created in their reader's notebooks during our read alouds last week: 



Enjoy the weekend! :)


  1. You created fertile soil for this book club - all this practice work will pay off when your students begin reading their book club books. So much thought and careful planning, Melanie!

  2. Hello! Do you have a write-up for this assignment? Thinking of modifying it for my kids' HF novels for the Celebration...