New Tale of Despereaux Theme Pack

        It has been quite the interesting year.  Starting with my very first classroom, in a brand new school...who would have thought it would be so much work (hehe)??  Anyways, I am (hopefully) back from my very long break and ready to tackle the blogging world again.   

        Back in October I introduced our very first Literature Circle to the kiddos using The Family Under the Bridge by Natalie Savage Carlson.  It was a wonderful way to get students familiar with interactive Reading Response Journals, using textual evidence to support answers, explore context clues, make inferences, interact with one another and the text, summarize get the point.

       So, after our first success, we are now venturing out on our second novel of the year, The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo.  We began working on common themes that appear in the story.  Since this is the first time they are analyzing various themes at once, I created a packet that can be inserted right into students' Reading Response Journals.  The product is now up for grabs on Teachers Pay Teachers.  Check it out

Students can keep notes organized in their Literary Response Journals using this organizational chart. 
While using this chart, students are encouraged to use stickies to take their own notes and mark important page numbers while we read and discuss the novel.  The students are really loving the opportunity to use colorful Post-Its (oh, the things that make them smile!!) as an alternative way to take notes and get involved with the novel.  They enjoy being their own "theme investigators".

What are some strategies you use to analyze themes in your classroom?


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