The Running Dream Wendelin Van Draanen novel study lessons, CLICK HERE for curriculum on TpT.
As an educator, you understand the importance of choosing the right novels for your class. A good novel can inspire your students, spark lively discussions, and create a passion for reading. One such novel that has proven to be a fantastic teaching tool is The Running Dream Wendelin Van Draanen. In this blog post, we will explore the best ways to teach this novel in your classroom, and how to get the most out of your students.
Understand the Theme
The Running Dream Wendelin Van Draanen has a powerful message that revolves around overcoming obstacles in life, and never giving up. For your students to appreciate this message, they need to understand the theme of the book. Encourage your students to analyze the events and characters in the novel to help them identify the broader theme. You can also have them look for quotes that support the theme, and encourage them to connect the events from the book to real-life situations.
Use Interactive Activities
The Running Dream Wendelin Van Draanen is an engaging and relatable novel, and to supplement classroom learning, you can use interactive activities that will engage your students further. For instance, you can ask your students to create a visual representation of the themes in the book, or reenact significant scenes from the novel. You can also incorporate technology by creating a discussion board or social media page for the class to encourage students to share their thoughts on the novel.
Utilize Literature Circle Discussions
Literature Circles are a fantastic way of promoting collaborative learning in your classroom. Divide your class into small groups and ask them to read specific sections of the book and have a discussion about their reading. These literature circle groups can rotate duties such as the discussion leader, connector (who makes connections from the book to other things), word wizard (who looks up words students don’t know) and summarizer. You can use these literature circle discussions to assess how well your students are understanding the book and reinforce the themes throughout the book.
Connect to Real-Life Experiences
The Running Dream Wendelin Van Draanen deals with real-life issues, such as disabilities, socioeconomic status, and loss. As such, it is an opportunity for your students to connect the events in the book to their lives. Encourage them to share their unique experiences and find ways to connect it to the book. This way, students can find relevance and importance in the story and with the messages it brings.
Incorporating a final project is an excellent way to assess your student’s understanding of the book. You can ask your students to write a reflective essay on the book or create a multimedia project that represents the essential themes in the book. These projects can encourage creativity and allow students to showcase their understanding of the book and the themes that they learned.
The Running Dream Wendelin Van Draanen is an inspirational novel that contains themes that are important for all students to learn. As an educator, it is crucial to give your students the necessary tools to appreciate and understand the book’s themes. By using interactive activities, creative projects, and meaningful discussions, your students will have a better understanding of the obstacles their peers experience and how to handle adversity positively. By getting the most out of your students, you will be promoting a love for reading that will last a lifetime.
- Provide context
Start by providing your students with contextual information about the book. Introduce the author and any relevant information about the plot or characters. Explain the benefits of reading this particular book and emphasize how it is relevant to their personal lives.
Wendelin Van Draanen’s “The Running Dream” is a story about perseverance in the face of adversity. It is a heartwarming tale about a young athlete, Jessica Carlisle, who experiences a life-changing accident that results in the amputation of her leg. The novel illustrates the journey of her emotional and physical recovery and encourages readers to push through their own obstacles.
- Engage in Visual Learning
Visual aids are crucial in helping students connect to the text. Use different types of visual aids like charts, diagrams, pictures or videos to create a more engaging learning environment for your students. For example, show them pictures of amputees participating in Olympics to encourage them and emphasize the role of the mind in conquering adversities.
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You can also involve students in mapping out the key events of the story or creating their own illustrations. This approach will encourage their creativity and ensure that they better understand the storyline.
- Encourage Class Discussions
Provide opportunities for your students to discuss the novel in class. This can be in small or large groups, as a whole class or as individual projects. Encourage students to ask questions and explore different perspectives. Your aim is not to assign a right or wrong answer, but to encourage students to engage critically with the text.
You can also create specific discussion prompts to guide them through the process. For instance, ask them what they think about the protagonist’s will to recover or how they would have handled the same situation if it happens to them.
- Activities and Assignments
Incorporating hands-on activities ensures your students are actively engaged and learn by doing. You can assign various activities like writing journals in the main character’s perspective, developing a new case study on amputees or doing a research project on prosthetics.
You can also engage your students through multimedia presentations, where students can showcase their understanding of the novel using digital media platforms.
- Capstone Project
Finally, conclude your lesson plan by encouraging your students to create a capstone project. This project should assess their knowledge of the book and summarize the key themes and lessons learned. The project can be in the form of a visual representation, poster, or essay. It is an excellent way to encourage your students to think critically about what they’ve learned and to present their unique perspectives, helping to encourage critical thinking.
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