Review Blog

Nov 23 2009

Novel activities: lessons in literature for the primary and post-primary classroom by Judy Dwyer

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Wizard Books, 1998.
Roald Dahl and Emily Rodda are just two of the forty-four authors whose books are featured in a resource which teachers can turn to for guidance in book selection and literature study with a whole class, group or individual student.
A brief overview of each title - age level, setting, themes, main characters, plot and comments - is accompanied by 'Follow up activities' and a 'Suggested follow up lesson'. The activities range over creative thinking and writing challenges, research, art, craft and possible excursions.
Judy Dwyer has taken some of the guesswork out of choosing a class novel for in-depth study. She has provided teachers with the tools to ensure that students will experience the ways in which literature can enrich our understanding of humanity and the natural world. Instructions are explicit, practical and clearly the result of years of teaching experience.
Although the 72 works examined predate 1998, most are still in constant use because of their timeless appeal. Some are classics, such as Bridge to Terabithia. Others are stories which have been revived through new editions, reprints or films.
Wizard Book titles are now on the Curriculum Corporation's list. Only a few copies of Novel activities are still available for purchase. However, teachers may find that copies of this treasure trove of ideas are already in their school libraries.
Elizabeth Bor

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