Monday, April 20, 2015

The Westing Game Central Questions and Quick Notes

Happy Monday, y'all! I am SO happy to be back on "normal" schedule and not testing this week! We started The Westing Game last week, but we are taking it SLOW because the novel is complex. Out of all the novels we've read this year, this one is the most challenging in terms of comprehension. There is A LOT to take track of, so we are doing a few things to hopefully make it easier to understand. I thought I'd share with y'all since these can easily be applied to any novel or text. 

Just like with Tuck Everlasting, we are using Central Questions. These are such a great way to guide your reading and hold students accountable for what they read. Love! We read the question before we read the chapter and then the kids answer the question after reading. Sorta like an exit slip. 


The most difficult part of the novel is keeping up with all the characters (over 20!) . To help with this, we are using Kristine's strategy. We also draw character names out of a box and each person is assigned that character. They are required to give us info about their character a few times a week. By the end of the novel, they should be an expert on their character and they will do a few other activities using that character...stay tuned for that!

Since there is a lot of action to keep up with as well, we've started taking what I call quick notes. These are in no order...we just jot down when something important happens or a new character is introduced or when we have a question about something. I do this with each class and depending on the kids' thinking, the notes vary a bit, so I made a chart for each class. Also, if I just did one chart my other two classes would simply copy down what I had written with my first class and that would defeat the purpose of note taking!



I'll be back tomorrow with some ways to keep up with all those characters! :)

9 comments:

  1. I wish I had seen this before we started our Westing Game unit - it's awesome! I love the idea of students answering the central questions on post-it notes. Saving this for next year!

    Sara :)
    The Colorful Apple

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  2. We are starting The Westing Game as a class novel study tomorrow, so I'm so glad I found your blog! LOVE your idea on central questions! Would you mind sharing your central questions for each chapter? Cute blog, too! :)

    Sara

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  3. Love how you used central questions to keep the students focus in each topic. Indeed a good strategy to introduce to my class. Thanks for sharing :D

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  4. This looks like a great unit! Would you mind sharing the central questions? Thanks!

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  5. Loved this! We are reading the Westing Game in small group! Would love to read more of the central questions! Thanks!

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  6. Hi, I love this idea. I am getting ready to start The Westing Game with my fifth grade class. I was wondering if you have a list of your essential questions?

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  7. Hi there! This looks amazing!! This is my first year teaching and I would love a copy of your essential questions please. If you wouldn't mind emailing them or directing me to where they are in your blog that would be awesome. Thank you!!

    deg8907@gmail.com

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  8. Ladies--she's got the central questions for sale in her TPT store. :)

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  9. Of course she does!!! Amazing work and so darn cute!! THANKS FOR SHARING AND SELLING!!!

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