Independent Reading

Independent Novel Unit © Margaret Hua & Dawn Hogue, 2002
Updated 09/27/2005 by Dawn Hogue

 

 | Introduction | About Log Sheets | Creating the Log Booklet | Format for Cover | Format for Table of Contents | Directions for Logs | Log Choices | Independent Novel Log Booklet Rubric |

Introduction

You are expected to read one novel each quarter.  You may wonder why this is expected when we will be reading two novels together as a class. Today, people in general are reading less. As a result, many in our society do not have as expanded a vocabulary, are not as imaginative, and do not always understand literary allusions. One goal of CyberEnglish9 is to give you more experience with reading and its benefits.

By choosing your own book, you are more likely to be interested in what you read, may be more committed to the process, and are more likely to gain positive benefits associated with reading. Plus, we know that the more we read, the better we get. Reading is like other skills in this way: practice does improve performance. Moreover, you are able to read at your own pace, provided you finish your book and the required log booklet by the due date at the end of each quarter.

In addition, the log booklets give you more experience in writing about literature. Many log choices also enhance your literary analysis skills. The more than 30 log choices give you personal options in creating a booklet that allows you to react to your book in your own way. You can also control the level of difficulty on your own, pushing yourself to do more if you desire.

Much of the reading will be on your own time outside of class.  On occasion, you will be provided time in class to read. You will be notified in advance so you can bring your book on appropriate days. Otherwise, just have your book with you so that you will have it whenever there is a chance to read.

This component of the course is worth 50 points each quarter.

About Log Sheets


The log sheets give you many options for responding the books you read. Some of these logs are about character, some about the themes in the novel, and others allow you to draw more than write. You can do different logs each quarter or do the same ones over and over. You may select your log choices from the file in the classroom, you may print them from the web, or you may copy the text of the log and paste it into a Word document and type your work.
 If you choose to print logs from the web, be sure that you keep the heading and directions on each page. Further down this page you will find a list of these logs. 

Log Booklets: What's included?

At the end of the quarter (or any time prior to that), you will be need to turn in a booklet, bound attractively, that contains the completed logs. Check the calendar for specific due dates.

Each booklet is to be constructed with these components:


Follow this format for your cover

Design the cover to reflect the themes, characters, or plot of the book.
The book's title needs to be part of the design.


DO NOT use the book's own cover as part of your design. (This means you can't download the cover or scan it).
Designs can be hand-drawn or computer generated.

Use color (unless you prefer not) and make the cover/title page neat.

 

Near the bottom of the page, the following needs to be incorporated as part of the design:

your name

the class name and hour

teacher's name

the date (that you are handing it in)

 

 

Follow this format for your table of contents page

Title of the Book
(centered)

Cite your novel here. (Remember, if you need to use a second line, it is indented one half inch.) Click here to see how to cite a book by a single author.

 

Table of Contents
(Below are examples of log choices: what you choose is up to you)

Summary

Page 2

(Your first log will be page 2; your table of contents page is actually your 1st page and you never add that to itself).

Alternative Ending Page 3
New Vocabulary Page 4
Closing Log:  Letter to Author Page 5

 

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Directions for Logs

  • Write about 200 words or more for every entry (this is minimum effort). Or in graphic options, be sure to do quality work.

  • Write in blue or black ink or type your entry (typing is preferred as all log documents are digital as of January 2006).

  • Typed logs must be double spaced (see FSSH).

  • Directions for each log must be included on each page.

 

List of Log Choices & Explanations

Accessing Logs: (no longer available in paper form as of January 2006)

  1. Click on the links below. Copy and paste the heading and the directions into a Word document and proceed from there. Save your documents in your H: drive.

  2. Or, get these logs already in a Word document by going through the following process:

  • Start>My Documents>Student on sfsd G:

  • Teacher class folders>HS>Hogue>Independent novel templates

  • Open the file>Save the file in your H: drive using your own file name

Choices for Fiction
(novel)
Choices for Non Fiction (4th quarter)
(biography, autobiography, fact-based book, etc.)
&
Advice Column
&
Advice Column
&
Alternative Ending
&
Casting the Movie Version
&
Analyzing Reality
&
Character Reaction
&
Board Game Design
&
Coming to Dinner?
&
Casting the Movie Version
&
Fortune Cookies
&
Character Comparison
&
Gift Giving
&
Character Reaction
&
Illustrator
&
Character Sketch
&
In a
Characterís Shoes
&
Coming to Dinner?
&
Meaningful Quotations
&
Fortune Cookies
&
New Vocabulary
&
Gift Giving
&
Selling the Book
&
Illustrator
&
Similes & Metaphors
&
If Walls Could Talk
&
Summary
&
In a
Characterís Shoes
&
T-Shirt Design
&
Mapping the Setting
&
Time Line
&
Meaningful Quotations
 
&
New Vocabulary
 
&
Party Time
 
&
Postcard to a  Character
 
&
Retelling a Scene
 
&
Revising Tone
&
Selling the Book
 
&
Similes & Metaphors
 
&
Staging a Novel
 
&
Summary
 
&
Switching Settings
 
&
T-Shirt Design
 
&
Time Capsule
 
&
Time Line
 
&
Travel Brochure
 
&
Traveling in a Novel
 
&
Transporting a Character
 
   
 

Closing Log Choices

&
Who Should Read This?
&
Letter to Author
&
Literary Analysis (fiction only)

Summary

Write a summary of what you read.  Include basic literary information, such as setting(s), character(s), plot (conflict & resolution), point of view, theme(s), and anything else that would be beneficial to the reader in better understanding what has happened.

Back to List of Log Choices

Character Reaction

I really like/dislike____________________ (a character in the book you are reading) because . . .

Give several reasons supported with specific examples of what the character does or says. 

Back to List of Log Choices

Analyzing Reality

A part that seems really realistic/totally unbelievable in the book Iím reading is . . .

Explain why it is realistic or totally believable by providing specific examples.  Include the page number(s) of the part you are discussing.


Back to List of Log Choices

Putting Yourself in a Characterís Shoes

If I were ________________________ (character) at this point, I would . . .

Give specific actions you would take and provide sound reasoning for those actions.

Back to List of Log Choices

Retelling a Scene

Pick a scene and retell the events from a different characterís perspective . . .   

Identify the scene, the character and how the scene is different in your retelling.

Imagine you have entered the mind of that other character.  You can write the scene as if you are that character recounting the events.  You may want to use dialogue.

Back to List of Log Choices

Character Comparison

Compare/Contrast one of the characters with someone you really know.  Use specific examples about appearance, actions, personality, likes/dislikes, vocabulary, etc.  Support your examples with citations from your novel (page number).

Back to List of Log Choices

Advice Column

Describe one of the problems faced by a character and write advice for him/her. You may choose to be serious or humorous. Use the letter format common to newspaper advice columns, where the person with the problem writes for advice and the adviser writes back. Often, the person seeking advice "disguises" his or her name with a descriptive name associated with the problem.

Back to List of Log Choices

Alternative Ending

Write an alternative ending for one of the books you read.  Try to maintain consistency with the author's style. You must actually write the ending and not simply describe it.

Back to List of Log Choices

New Vocabulary

List 10 new and interesting words from your book (please identify which book they are from and the page number) and define them. Explain why each word is interesting to you.    

Back to List of Log Choices

Meaningful Quotations

Quote 2-3 passages that you really connect with. Include the page number found in parentheses. Explain what makes those quotations/passages so meaningful to you.    


Back to List of Log Choices

Searching for Similes and Metaphors

Find and write down 5 similes and  5 metaphors from your book.  Label each as a simile or a metaphor (give the page number). Choose five of them and explain in detail why you choose them.

Back to List of Log Choices

Character Sketch

Write a character sketch describing your favorite character.  Tell what the character is like outside (age, gender, hair, etc.) and inside (personality).  Pay more attention to the internal qualities of your character than to the external qualities. You may also draw a picture of this character if you wish. The drawing is in addition to the written sketch.   

Back to List of Log Choices

Revising Tone

Choose a passage from the book you are reading and rewrite it, changing words to change the tone.  Identify the original tone and then select what type of tone you wish to use.  For example, you could sound angry, sympathetic, satirical, etc. (Please identify which book the passage is from and the page number.)

Back to List of Log Choices

T-Shirt Design

Create a T-shirt design to highlight significant characters, events of themes in the book. Include words or phrases on the shirt, and give a complete explanation on the side about what the shirt signifies.
  
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Fortune Cookies

You are dining at a Chinese restaurant with 5 characters from the novel you read.  On that particular night, the fortune cookies are amazingly appropriate.  Tell what each fortune cookie said and why it was especially fitting to the character who received it.  Donít forget to include yourself!

Back to List of Log Choices

Transporting a Character

Lift a character out of the book you are reading and drop him or her down in our school.  Is the character a student, teacher, custodian, secretary, nurse, principal, cafeteria employee, etc.?  Donít change the characterís personalityójust show what might happen if he or she became one of us.

 
Back to List of Log Choices

Which Character Is Coming to Dinner?

Invite one of the characters in your book to dinner, explaining why you chose that character above the others.  Next, write a note to your mother telling her that you have invited someone to dinner.  Describe the person to her; include a few dos and doníts for her to follow so that your guest will feel at home.

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Casting the Movie Version

You are the director in charge of filming the novel.  How will you cast it?  Name specific actors for the roles. How will you handle the camera?  What do you have in mind for setting and sound?  How will you use color?  Why?

Back to List of Log Choices

Switching Settings

Describe what would happen if you would change the setting of the novel you are reading.  Be specific.  Remember, setting is both time and place.  Would characters change?  Would the plot have to change? Explain!

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Postcard to a Character

 Create a postcard for the novel following the directions below.

  • The postcard is written from you to a character in the novel

  • The stamp represents the setting

  • The address is to a specific character in the novel

  • Message includes one really important incident and 5 details

  • Some specific indication of your opinion of the book is included

  • Tack on a postscript (P.S.)

  • The picture side has an attractive drawing with the title of the book and the authorís name.

Back to List of Log Choices

Staging a Novel

Describe the setting of your novel below.  Design a stage for a scene of your book as if it were being presented as a stage play.  Use a top down view (birdís eye) or the view as seen from the audience. List your cast of characters from the novel and pick current actors or actresses to play those roles.  Also note if costumes will be needed for each character (describe them).

Back to List of Log Choices

Mapping the Setting

On a separate piece of paper, draw a map of the setting in your book.  Label all the important places.  Make a key explaining the symbols.  Explain your map below.  (This option cannot be selected if your book already has such a map).


Back to List of Log Choices


Time Capsule

Make a time capsule for the book you read.  Tell what each character would put in and why.  Also include items that relate to the theme, plot, and setting.  Explain those as well.  You should write a few sentences for each item in the time capsule.  You need at least ten items included in your time capsule.

Back to List of Log Choices

Travel Brochure

Design a travel brochure for the book you read.  Include a heading/title, pictures, a map, vivid descriptions, a list of things to do, interesting facts that relate to your novel, and historical information relating to your book.  Use the area below for brainstorming, but turn in a brochure with this log.

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Party Time

Plan a party, outing, or event that you think one of the characters would enjoy.  The party should reflect his/her interests and likes.  Include the following:  theme, food, entertainment, decorations, dress, special effects, location, time, other guests.  Write the plan below. The choices you make must fit the character and the novel world he/she lives in.

Back to List of Log Choices

Time Line

Create an illustrated timeline of the major events in the novel.  Make your own drawings or use computer art and include approximate dates if exact ones cannot be obtained.  You may use the space below or turn in a separate timeline attached to this page.

Back to List of Log Choices

Gift Giving

Think of what five (or more) gifts would be perfect to give to the main character.  They can be tangible or intangible, but should be things that he/she would really want or use.  Explain why you chose each gift and why it fits your character.

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If Walls Could Talk . . .

Create a conversation between the main character and some intangible thing (like goodness, justice, love, greed, etc.) or a nonliving thing (like a stone, a tree, a chair, a cabinet, etc.) or his/her conscience.  Write the conversation below. Your conversation must be punctuated correctly for dialogue. What each person says is shown in quotation marks. When a new person begins speaking, you create a new paragraph.

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Illustrator

Make six or more cartoons or drawings that show the major events in the story.  Below each write a brief explanation of each scene.

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Poetry Time

Decide on what the theme of your book is and then write a song or poem to communicate the novelís theme, including your personal thoughts on the topic. Your song or poem must have a title that fits the main idea.

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Selling the Book

Design an advertisement that will sell your book to two of the following:  the owner of a bookstore, a concerned parent, a reluctant reader, a movie watcher, someone from your family. For each advertisement, identify the need (why does the person need your book), create an attention getter, and show the satisfied customer (how he or she is happy with the book).

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Board Game Design

Create a board game that is based on your novel.  Include several events from the novel as well as any facts that are relevant to the novel.  Include all of the following:  name of the game, objective of the players, scoring, rules, board design.

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Traveling in a Novel

If you were going to join the characters in the book, what would you pack?  Write an explanation of ten or more items you would bring and why.  They may be tangible or intangible items.

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Closing Log Choices:

&
Letter to Author
&
Who Should Read
This
&
Literary Analysis

Letter to the Author

Write a letter to the author posing questions about the book.  Include at least ten questions.  Be sure to start your letter with a greeting and some information about yourself and your reaction to the book.  Follow correct business letter format.  (This is a closing log selection only).

Who Should Read This Book?

Write at least 2 paragraphs on this topic: Why ___________ should (or should not) read this book. Give good reasons! Choose a specific person you know for this log.  (This is a closing log selection only).

Literary Analysis and Positive Review

Using complete sentences and paragraphs (at least 3), explain why this is the best book you read this semester.  Include literary information, such as writing techniques (ideas, organization, voice, word choice, sentence fluency, conventions), plot structure, characterization, symbolism, setting, imagery, and so on.  Explain your personal interaction with the book or the impact this book had on you or your life.  Finally, describe why you think others should read the book. (This is a fiction closing log selection only).

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Rubric for Independent Novel Log Booklet

  10 9/8 7 6/5 0
  Above expectations-All directions followed precisely and extras are added Good, at expectations---some minor problems distract; your work is less precise than it could be Good attempt, not quite meeting expectations---several deviations exist.  Attention to detail and directions is limited Not up to par---you misunderstood expectations or had too many mistakes or omissions You didn't do this at all, or your attempt is so poor, so limited that no points are given
Logs #1-3
Use complete sentences, reveal an excellent understanding of the novel, use introductions and conclusions appropriately, sufficient length, and free of errors in conventions.
         
Closing Log
Follows same expectations as other logs
         
Table of Contents Page
Title of Book
Bibliographic Information
Table of Contents

Cover
Attractive; relevant to the novel; includes name, class, teacher, date

         
Totals: 50 points possible          

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