Clean Getaway Nic Stone novel study lessons, click HERE for the curriculum on TpT.
Clean Getaway is a fantastic young adult novel written by Nic Stone, perfect for middle-grade classrooms. This book follows the journey of eleven-year-old William “Scoob” Lamar as he goes on a road trip with his beloved grandma, who he discovers is on the run from the law. This novel touches upon important issues surrounding race, family, and belonging, making it an ideal choice for teachers looking for something thought-provoking and engaging to bring into their English lesson plans. In this post, we are going to give you the ultimate guide to teaching Clean Getaway in the classroom.
Introduce key themes: Before diving into the novel with students, it’s important to introduce them to some of the key themes in Clean Getaway. These themes include the effects of racism and prejudice on individuals, family dynamics, and coming of age. You could also introduce some discussion points for each of these themes to get students thinking about how they relate to the novel’s themes.
Use a range of activities: The key to engaging students with any text is to use a range of activities to help them understand and analyze what they’re reading. Some activities you could do with Clean Getaway include group discussions, journaling prompts, character analysis, and creative writing exercises. Using multiple types of activities will keep students engaged and inspire critical thinking.
Connect themes to current events: While Clean Getaway is a work of fiction, the themes it touches on are unfortunately still very relevant in today’s world. Try connecting the book’s themes to current events, such as the Black Lives Matter movement, to help students see the relevance of what they’re learning in the classroom to the world around them.
Make it visual: Integrating visuals into your teaching of Clean Getaway can help visual learners enjoy the book and help you facilitate better discussions. For example, using maps to chart the road trip taken by Scoob and his grandma, or creating a visual timeline of key events in the novel, can help students understand and remember what they’re reading.
Encourage student-led discussions: One of the best ways to get students engaged with Clean Getaway is to encourage student-led discussions. Discussing themes and specific events from the book in small groups or as a class helps students develop their critical thinking and communication skills while also allowing for different perspectives and interpretations.
Understand the Theme and Characters of the Novel:
Before you start teaching the novel, it is essential to have a thorough understanding of the theme, characters, and plot. The novel Clean Getaway is about a young boy and his grandmother on a road trip, where they travel through various states, and each state holds a different story. This novel deals with various themes like family, friendship, loss, and redemption. Once you understand the themes and characters of the novel, you can plan your teaching strategies accordingly.
CLICK HERE for the digital course above.
Pre-read the Novel:
Before you start teaching the novel, it is best to pre-read the book from beginning to end. This will help you understand the characters better, the story, and the major themes. Reading ahead of your students will also help you know what questions to ask and what activities to plan. Pre-reading the novel will help you in mapping out your lesson plans, which will create a smooth teaching experience.
Incorporate Supplementary Materials:
To make the experience much more enjoyable and educational, incorporate teaching materials that complement the novel. You can plan a road trip activity, where students plan their road trips and present them orally in front of the class. You can also integrate technology and ask your students to make a travel video like the characters in the book. You can utilize various worksheets, graphic organizers, and discussion questions to get the students engaged with the novel.
Create a Socratic Seminar:
Doing a Socratic seminar is an exciting activity that involves critical thinking and learning by asking and answering questions. A Socratic seminar is a discussion between students, where they discuss the novel and its themes. The main goal is to create meaningful conversations about the novel and improve student’s analytical and communication skills. The Socratic seminar activity can act as a comprehensive evaluation tool to assess how well students understood the novel.
Finishing the Novel:
Once you complete the novel, it is best to have a wrap-up activity that sums up the overall experience for students. Students can present a road trip theme visual project and tie the main themes and characters in the novel into their presentations. You can also conduct a quiz show to test the student’s knowledge of the novel. Rewarding good performance can keep students engaged and eager to participate.
- The Importance of Pre-Reading Activities
Before diving into the novel, it is crucial to engage students in activities that pique their interest, introduce the book’s themes and characters, and prepare them for the story. Some pre-reading activities that educators can use include a book cover analysis, a discussion on road trips, and a brainstorm on family traditions. Pre-reading activities not only make the reading experience more enjoyable, but they also provide a foundation for students to connect with the characters and their journey.
- Reading Strategies: Making Connections and Visualizing
Clean Getaway is a book that students can easily connect with, thanks to the relatable characters and themes. As educators, it is our job to guide students in making connections between the story and their lives. One way to do this is through visualizing, which encourages students to use their imagination and create mental images of the story’s settings, characters, and events. Visualizing not only enhances comprehension but also allows students to delve deeper into the story’s emotions and themes.
- Discussion Questions: Encouraging Critical Thinking
To deepen students’ understanding of Clean Getaway’s central themes, educators should encourage class discussions through open-ended questions. Some examples of discussion questions include “What does family mean to you?” and “How can we overcome racial barriers?” Asking students to connect their opinions to evidence in the text is a great way to stimulate critical thinking and develop analytical skills.
- Creative Responses: Writing Assignments and Projects
Clean Getaway is an enjoyable read, and it provides ample opportunities for creative responses from students. As educators, we can assign writing assignments, such as personal narratives, research reports, or even a script for a sequel to the book. Additionally, educators can encourage students to create projects such as creating a story map or a road trip itinerary that highlights significant locations in the story. Creative responses deepen comprehension, enhance critical thinking and promote imaginative problem-solving.
- Concluding the Reading Experience
As with every book read in the classroom, it is essential to wrap up the experience with a conclusion that reinforces key themes and lessons. Educators can encourage students to write reflections on the book’s critical moments, create visual representations of the book’s themes, or even perform a dramatic reading. The conclusion serves as an opportunity for students to synthesize their knowledge and deepen their insight into the book’s themes. Overall, Clean Getaway is an excellent novel that introduces students to important issues in a creative and engaging way. By using a range of teaching methods, connecting the themes to current events, and encouraging collaboration and student-led discussions, you’re sure to get your students interested in and excited about this book. As you teach the book, don’t forget to have fun and enjoy the journey with your students. Happy teaching!
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