Wilson Rawls’ The Summer of the Monkeys novel study CLICK HERE for unit on TpT.
Wilson Rawls’ The Summer of the Monkeys is a timeless classic that is beloved by readers young and old. While it may be targeted towards younger audiences, this novel contains some truly valuable lessons that can be appreciated by high school students. In this blog post, we’ll discuss why the novel is perfect for teaching in a high school classroom setting and offer some tips on how to make it an engaging lesson.
Themes & Topics Suitable for High Schoolers
One of the great things about The Summer of the Monkeys is that its themes are universal and applicable to all ages. In particular, themes such as perseverance, loyalty, and friendship can be discussed in depth with high schoolers. Additionally, topics such as family relationships, personal responsibility, and hard work can also be touched on during the course of this novel.
Engaging Students with Group Activities
Group activities are a great way to get students engaged in any lesson plan. With The Summer of the Monkeys specifically, teachers can assign group projects where each team will work together to analyze a particular theme or topic from the book. This will help bring out unique perspectives from each student while also encouraging teamwork and collaboration among them. Additionally, teachers can also ask students to create posters or other visual aids to better demonstrate their understanding of certain concepts from the book.
Incorporating Technology into Lessons
Technology has become increasingly common in educational settings over recent years. With The Summer of the Monkeys specifically, teachers have plenty of options when it comes to incorporating tech into their lessons. For example, they could create online quizzes based on key topics from the book or even have students use video chat platforms to hold virtual discussions about certain characters or events from the novel. By doing so, teachers can ensure that their lessons remain engaging for their students and keep them interested throughout!
Build Background Knowledge
Before diving into Summer of the Monkeys, take some time to build background knowledge with your students. If you have time, consider reading selections from other works by Wilson Rawls, such as Where The Red Fern Grows or The Wolf Of White River. Doing so will give your students a better understanding of Rawls’ writing style and help them appreciate all the nuances in his work. You can also spend some time talking about the geography of rural Oklahoma, where much of the novel takes place. This will help bring the world of Summer of the Monkeys to life for your class.
Encourage Discussion & Analysis
Novels are meant to be discussed and analyzed! As you read through Summer of the Monkeys together as a class, don’t forget to pause every now and then for discussion and analysis. Have your students share their thoughts on different characters or themes in the book. Encourage them to think critically about why certain events unfold as they do and why certain decisions are made by individual characters throughout the story. Providing thought-provoking questions can also help foster meaningful dialogue among your students while they’re discussing each part of the book.
Incorporate Other Activities & Assignments
To keep your students engaged throughout their reading journey, consider incorporating other activities into their learning experience too! For example, have them create a timeline that tracks major events in Summer Of The Monkeys or design a poster that illustrates one particular theme from within the story. Alternatively, you could assign creative writing projects related to themes or characters from within the novel itself – maybe even have them write an alternate ending! These types of assignments can really bring new life into reading literature in high school classrooms – plus, it gives teachers a chance to evaluate student understanding in multiple ways rather than just relying on tests or essays alone!
Introducing the Novel
The Summer of the Monkeys is a heartwarming story about a young boy named Jay Berry Lee and his adventures with a family of monkeys he encounters one summer. This novel has been around since 1978 and continues to capture the hearts and imaginations of readers, both young and old alike. It is an excellent choice for introducing children to literary elements such as theme, point-of-view, symbolism, irony, characterization, and more.
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One of the best ways to engage teens in any literature class is through character analysis. In this novel, Jay Berry Lee is an especially interesting character because he is relatable and easy for students to connect with on an emotional level. Through character analysis activities such as roleplay or writing exercises, teachers can help students explore how Jay Berry’s actions reflect his values and beliefs—and how those values might differ from their own.
Discussing Topics & Themes
The themes woven throughout The Summer of the Monkeys are also great discussion topics in any literature class—especially those taught in high schools where teens may be struggling with issues like identity formation or family dynamics. For example, themes such as courage, friendship, loyalty, sacrifice, and determination can all be explored through activities like group discussions or writing assignments based on quotes from the book.
Wilson Rawls’ The Summer of the Monkeys is a timeless classic that’s perfect for teaching in high school classrooms. Not only does it contain valuable lessons that are applicable to all ages, but there are also plenty of opportunities for teachers to engage their students with group activities and technology-based projects as well. So if you’re looking for a way to make your literature classes more interesting and engaging for your students, consider giving The Summer of the Monkeys a try!
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