Monday, November 18, 2013

Launching a Novel: A Team Approach

Today was Day One....but the books weren't here yet so I needed to stall.

I already had the kids in groups of four balanced for extrovert/introvertedness and work ethic (they are all bright, so I didn't have to worry about that). On the board were posted nine teams--or ISLANDS, as I am calling them:

Conch       Fire       Pigs      Spectacles     The Beast      Ralph      Piggy      Jack     Simon

First, we had a rock/paper/scissors war to see which team chose which name. And then, in reverse order, teams select from nine different colored team name tags. And then, teams had to choose an alliterative name and design the name tag. This took all period!

(I felt a little badly, because I know how some of the teams will bond with their character--Piggy's team will be upset, but will they be more upset than Jack's team? And Jack [his real name] is on Jack's team....but....)

....This was team bonding. They were exercising decision-making and tomorrow when we discuss leadership styles and launch the book, they will not only be analyzing the characters in the novel, but the characters on their "island."

So here they are:

Cool Conches
Fergalicious Fire
Petrifying Pigs
Sassy Squid Specs
Bewildering Beasts
Reck-it Ralph
Proper Piggys
Just Jack. (with the period)
Simon Says

These tags are on a board, and there will be a place for the best team for that assignment to move to called "Who's Got the Conch?" Plus, when I was in Puerto Rico I bought a gigantical conch and it will be magical when they see it after Ralph in the book finds it. And they will enjoy David Gunnar blasting it (especially since one Sassy Squid Spec is named Gunnar) :

Don't be fooled by this dorky intro; we will be reading Thomas Hobbes, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Sigmund Freud, leadership theory, and more before we end, and we will each write a serious piece of literary analysis. The culminating salon will be a luau with ROAST PORK, of course, and each Island will decorate their table appropriate to their symbol/character, and will present at the luau how their character or item highlights Golding's theme, adds to the plot, and something else I haven't yet decided.

Having the students on Islands means they have built-in discussion partners, built-in, long-haul team work, and that some days I'll only have to collect nine assignments instead of 36. I am also pitting them against each other (overtures of Jack versus Ralph, right?) for each response and that should up the quality for this highly competitive group.  My dream class would be where we could decorate the room like the island in the book as we learned details about it...

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