The Lesson Plan: Students write questions for a character in their book, focusing on the elements of the story (setting, conflict, climax, resolution). The questions should be answered in the character's personality. The interview may be submitted in written format, performed in front of the class, or recorded.
The draw: This activity is perfect for boys with a variety of interests-from sportscaster to news correspondent.
Skills addressed: Reading comprehension, public speaking, writing
Create a Game
The Lesson Plan: Students construct a board game based on a book. In addition to creating a playing board reflective of scenes from the book, they also make game pieces (e.g., objects important in the book, characters, etc.), questions (focusing on setting, conflict, climax, and resolution), and directions.
The draw: Who doesn't like to play board games?
Skills addressed: Reading comprehension, tactile learning, interpersonal skills (if used as review for a class novel and completed in groups)
Make a Comic Book
The Lesson Plan: Students illustrate a comic book based on the novels they read, expressing the key novel elements (setting, conflict, climax, resolution) through artwork and dialogue.
The draw: On top of the fun factor, this activity allows boys who are timid about writing essays to showcase their skills.
Skills addressed: Reading comprehension, tactile learning, artistic intelligence, sequencing
Build Life-Size Characters
The Lesson Plan: Students trace one another on drawing paper. Then they use a variety of media to dress their figures-anything from paints and crayons to felt-to resemble the characters in their novels. On the back of each figure, students provide a summary of the story as well as how the character's personality impacted the conflict, climax, and resolution of the book.
The draw: Even students who do not excel at art will enjoy this activity. Anyone can trace!
Skills addressed: Comprehension, critical thinking, character analysis
Design Trading Cards
The Lesson Plan: Students create playing cards on oaktag with the main characters and events from their novels. On the front of the card, students should include a picture. The back should provide a short description of the character or event and its importance to the novel.
The draw: Trading cards that are allowed in school? Need we say more?
Skills addressed: Fact recall, reading comprehension, interpersonal skills
Fill Mystery Bags
The Lesson Plan: Students decorate paper bags according to their books' themes. Then, they fill their bags with objects that tell the books' stories. They should have a minimum of six objects-two representing events from the beginning of the book, two from the middle, and two from the end. When they present their bags to the class, they explain how each object is relevant.
The draw: Everyone loved show-and-tell, and now they get to do it again!
Skills addressed: Creative thinking, reading comprehension, public speaking
Make Living History
The Lesson Plan: Students dress up as a character from their book and tell the story in the character's voice, focusing on the key plot elements of conflict, climax, and resolution.
The draw: It's like Halloween-minus the candy and the sugar high.
Skills addressed: Public speaking, reading comprehension
Direct a Book Trailer
The Lesson Plan: After watching sample trailers, students create their own book trailer to be shown online or via video. The video should showcase the conflict in the book as well as the characters and setting.
The draw: Movies lure everyone, and who doesn't want to play director?
Skills addressed: Technology, reading comprehension