Buddy Books : Reading with a friend Critical Thinking and Writing/Paul Kandell Voice mail 329-3837 firstname.lastname@example.org For our outside reading project you will read the same book as another student in this class, discuss and write about it together, and then give a short presentation to the class about your book. To get started you need to select a partner and a book. After you pick a partner, the two of you will then choose a book that neither has read and is challenging. You need two copies of this book so you can both be reading at the same time; your book should be at least 250 pages. There is no upper limit. See more information about your book choices at the bottom of this handout. THE JOURNAL: Each duo will have ONE journal. In the journal, you must: 1. Design a colorful cover for the journal that relates to a key idea from the book 2. Have both participants' name, class, and period on the cover or first page 3. Include 10 entries (5 each) that are written in letter format to each other. Each entry must be dated, numbered and signed. Each participant must initiate at least 2-3 entries & respond to at least 2-3 entries; you will end up with 10 entries total, 5 written by you and 5 by your partner. Each pair of entries will cover approximately 1/5 of the book. Example: Josh and Lisa both read 50 pages of their book. Josh writes an entry that he has initiated (J#1), then gives the journal to Lisa who responds to Josh's entry, J#2 (1st and 2nd entries) After responding, Josh and Lisa both read 50 more pages. Lisa then initiates and writes an entry (J#3); Lisa gives the journal back to Josh and he responds to her entry (J#4). 5. Each entry that is INITIATED must be at least 400 words. The response entry should be at least 300 words. Challenge yourself to think critically about the book. 6. The content of the initiated entries should be based in the text and should, in general, focus on literary elements of the book. Here are some questions to think about: • • • • • • • • • • What are your reactions to the plot? Does it seem plausible? corny? Discuss the characters. Whom do you like? dislike? Are the characters true to their natures? Have you learned anything from them? Is there a particular quote or scene that is memorable? Why? What are the "big ideas" in this book? What is the author trying to express? What questions do you have? What are you wondering about? What bugs you? What are you confused about? Do you have any predictions for the plot or characters? What do you think is going to happen? Why? Are the characters or plot reminding you of anything in your life? Do you like the author's style? diction? Any other topics that strike your fancy pertaining to the book . . . At all cost, avoid plot summary! I will not give you credit for simply telling what happens in the story. 7. When you respond to your partner's initiated entry, you must answer/address his/her questions, comments and concerns. Otherwise, you won’t convince me that you did the work in real time. PARTNER PRESENTATIONS: I may ask you to share your feelings, opinions and insights about your book with the class in a short presentation that should need little or no preparation. DUE DATES (for the first quarter) By Friday, Aug. 29, you will need to have your book in hand and create and turn in a reading schedule for this assignment. On this paper, please state: 1. Your name 2. Your partner's name 3. Book title 4. Number of pages in the book 5. Why you want to read this particular book. (Invest some energy in this question!) 6. A detailed schedule of how many pages you will read (either by day or by week) so you can finish the book and the journal by Friday, Sept. 26. 7. A schedule for who will write which journal (#'s 1-10), on what days each journal will be completed by, and how/where you will trade the journal. Journals 1-4 need to be completed by Friday, Sept. 26, when there will be an official "journal check." WARNINGS: 1. Choose your partner carefully. Make sure this person is someone you can trust to read the book, complete the entries thoroughly, and not lose your treasured journal. You will receive one grade unless it is blatantly obvious that one person did more work. 2. Make sure that you and your partner will be able to communicate effectively. You will be passing one journal back and forth. If you don't have identical schedules, you will need to exchange phone numbers or find out home addresses so you can trade off with the journal. GRADING Your journal will be graded on the quality of your entries and your ability to AVOID PLOT SUMMARY. I will be looking to see that you have thought about and discussed the characters, events and issues in your book. You will receive the specifics of the presentations and the grading rubric when the time approaches. CHOOSING YOUR BOOK You and your partner may select any book, fiction or non-fiction, as long as: 1. Neither of you have read the book before; 2. The book is not taught at any class at Paly or Jordan. 3. The book is on Mr. Kandell’s list or at least 250 pages 3. Mr. Kandell thinks it is challenging enough (and, again, you need his approval). SUGGESTED BUDDY BOOK TITLES If you’d like to read a book that isn’t on this list, please speak with me about your idea. In many cases, you may find a suitable book by the same author – or another book by an author you already know. I strongly suggest that you make your reading selections with parent/guardian involvement. You may not know this, but many of your parents have been waiting for you to get old enough to read some of their favorite books. This is a great time in your life to ask them for a suggestion. Whatever title you choose, you must check it out with me IN ADVANCE. FALL QUARTER SUGGESTIONS (Buddy Journal due Friday, Oct. 31) Alive, Read Pigs in Heaven, Kingsolver As I Lay Dying, Faulkner Tex, Hinton Catch-22, Heller The Best Little Girl in the World, Cold Sassy Tree, Burns Levonkron The Fellowship of the Ring, The Chocolate War, Cormier Tolkein The Client, Grisham I am the Cheese, Cormier The Outsiders, Hinton Into Thin Air, Krakauer True Grit, Portis WINTER QUARTER SUGGESTIONS (Buddy Journal due Friday, Jan. 16) A Wind in the Door, Engle The Queen’s Gambit, Tevis Dune, Herbert Hard Times, Dickens Far from the Madding Crowd, The Man in the Iron Mask, Dumas Hardy Ivanhoe, Scott Firestarter, King The Lost World, Crichton Remembering the Good Times, Le Morte D’Arthur, Malory Peck The Country of Last Things, Auster McTeague, Norris The New York Trilogy, Auster SPRING QUARTER SUGGESTIONS (Buddy Journal due Friday, March 26) And then there were none, Christie Rebecca, duMaurier Murder on the Orient Express, Christie Snow Falling on Cedars, Guterson Hound of the Baskervilles, Conan Doyle To Sir with Love, Brathwaite The Maltese Falcon, Hammett Watership Down, Adams Nervous Conditions, Dengaremba The War of the Worlds, Wells The Prince and the Pauper, Twain A Yellow Raft on Blue Water, A Connecticut Yankee in King Dorris Arthur’s Court, Twain FINAL QUARTER SUGGESTIONS (Buddy Journal due Friday, June 4) Sula, Morrison Growing Up, Baker Fallen Angels, Myers Intruder in the Dust, Faulkner Black Elk Speaks, Neihardt The Learning Tree, Parks Black Like Me, Griffin The Killer Angels, Shaara The Color Purple, Walker Parrot in the Oven, Mi Vida, A Gathering of Old Men, Gaines Martinez Farewell to Manzanar, Houston The Heart is a Lonely Hunter, Animal Farm, Orwell McCullers The Good Earth, Buck Buddy Book Reading Plan 1st Qtr 2nd Qtr 3rd Qtr 4th Qtr Buddy 1: __________________________ Buddy 2: ___________________________* * You must select a new buddy for each Buddy Books project. Book title: __________________________________________________________________ Author: __________________________________________________ No. of pages: ______ Why do you want to read this book? (Invest some energy in this question!) SCHEDULE Entry Ex. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 xxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxx Pages 51-103 Due to partner Sept. 13 Initiator Jenny xxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxx Responder xxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxx Note: Each buddy must initiate at least two entries.
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