In my last entry on reading notebooks, I mentioned that it is important to create your own to use as a teaching tool. It should be mostly the books you are actually reading with a very limited selection of books at the student level. I also mentioned that there was a certain level of scrapbooky insanity involved. I mostly outlined the sections and offeredvery little in the way of examples. Today I aim to remedy that.
1. Why I Loved Life Expectancy by Dean Koontz
In this entry I just write for however long I felt like about why I loved this book. The book itself involved an important circus ticket with 5 terrible days written on it, as well as a murderous clown, so I tried to incorporate that into the entry.
2. World War Z by Max Brooks: Could it Happen? Is it Believable?
The entire time I was reading this book I kept having moments where I thought, that could really happen, or people would really do that. The more you follow global politics, the more frightening this book actually is, and boooo to the movie while I am at it. This entry was just a list of things that made the story feel believable or like it could really happen. This type of entry would be especially well-suited to a sci-fi or fantasy story that contained strong elements of realism.
3. Amazon Review of The Fat Man: A Tale of North Pole Noir by Ken Harmon
Pick a book. Write a review on Amazon. Print it out. Glue it in. Done.
4. Important Symbols in Saving CeCe Honeycutt by Beth Hoffman
As I read this book, I became very caught up in its symbolism. It was obvious enough for me to notice, but subtle enough not to be insulting. I get insulted by in-your-ace symbols where the author thinks you are dumb and has to connect the dots for you rather than trusting that you get it. I wrote about the meaning of pearls, the old home being restored and the important scene with the hummingbird. I chose to include a few other significant things as illustrations, but my entry would have been 8 pages long if I wrote about all of the symbols.
5. Mookie Quotes from How to Steal a Dog by Barbara O’Connor
This was a read-aloud toward the end of the school year last year. Mookie was a wise and mysterious hobo who was not a main character but he was my favorite due to all of his odd sayings. In this entry I did three things. On the left is all the quotes of his I loved. On the right I began just describing him in as many adjectives and phrases as I could making one crazy run-on sentence. At the bottom I explain why he is important to the plot. I wasn’t really sure what I was doing when I started and that is how all of these go. The kids need to know they have the freedom to make up types of entries and focus on what they want to focus on.
6. Why I am so over Stephen King
This is where I hash out my frustrations with Stephen King. I explain our history (ok he has no history with me, but I do with his books). Then I get into all the ways he has let me down and I am so over him. At the end I cannot help but explain a few reasons I probably will read a few more Stephen King books despite my grievances.
Stay tuned. I will post more types of entries as I add more to my notebook.
First of all I want to say fantastic blog! I had a quick question that I’d like to ask if you do not mind.
I was interested to find out how you center yourself
and clear your thoughts before writing. I’ve had a tough time clearing my thoughts in getting my thoughts out.
I truly do enjoy writing but it just seems like the first 10 to 15 minutes tend to be lost just trying to figure out how to begin. Any suggestions or tips?