Reading Note: I posted this image in an earlier post, as a framework for how I understand 21st Century Learning: three distinct categories with many different concepts, beliefs, and practices housed in each one. My explanation of the “Pre-Reading” part of “The Book Thief” study relates to the “student centred” section and the “appropriately challenging and vigorous” category. For each post explaining my 21st century novel study, I will start with the section and category, to explain how this study shows this nebulous idea of 21st century learning.
This book is a big one. I hesitated when considering if we should bother reading such a meaty, hunky tome of a novel. But then I thought, that we should read this book because it is a challenge! It is also one of the best books written for young adults that I can think of. I would much rather dive into an amazing, challenging, and stimulating book that pushes readers past their current skills, than something in the middle of the road. “The Book Thief” can be understood on many levels, so I know the students who need more intellectual rigour will have their work cut out for them. That said, what about my students who find reading a challenge?
For the two weeks leading up to the new year, I selected a few readers to get a head start so they had more time with the text. Some will get the opportunity to read key passages a few times, while others will be able to read it more quickly with an audiobook (for story and plot) and then with the class for the second round for deeper understanding.
I don’t claim any of this to be ground breaking (21st century learning, I would argue really doesn’t need to be revolutionary), but rather there is a purpose and an intentionality that guides planning.