We finished reading the book Rowan of Rin by Emily Rodda. In the last couple of weeks we did a number of activities to compile our thoughts about the book. For an overview of activities in earlier chapters please use these links:
Chapters 1 and 2
Chapters 3 and 4
Chapters 5 and 6
Chapters 7 and 8
Chapters 9 and 10
Chapters 11 to 13
Activities after reading the book
Students consider the things they learnt about crafting a narrative and apply these to writing their own adventure narrative where the characters face their fears. The photo below came from my Smart Board lesson for this activity.
Tying up the loose ends
We reviewed the last chapter to consider how Emily Rodda tied together all the loose ends. We considered which information was necessary early in the story to make the ending believable. We discussed the imagery used to provide a sense of desperation during the climax. We also discussed Emily Rodda's use of stars to break up the chapter and provide details about other characters elsewhere in the story. This lesson was a really important session that helped students to focus more on the importance of story endings.
This was an idea that I found in another book. Students created a 'one-pager' about Rowan of Rin. There were a number of ideas provided about what the 'one-pager' could be, but it needed to be a page about the book, with some added colour. Many students created a new cover for the book. Some chose to write about their feelings about Rowan's character development, and still others illustrated a scene from the book.
This was the first chance I had to play with our new Snowball Microphone. I set the microphone up on a stool so that six students could gather around it. Together we created a basic outline for a book chat with sentence starters and key topics to discuss. While other students were working silently on their 'one-pager's, I selected a group at a time to conduct their book chat. It worked really well and we even had time to listen to a couple at the end.
My Final Thoughts
I really enjoyed doing this unit of work with my students and would feel confident doing it again with a new group. Students learnt a lot from their involvement with this novel and the language stretched some of them more than the books that they prefer to read in their free time. It was an engaging text that proved useful for teaching a number of reading and writing skills. I hope you find it useful too.
Here is the complete Rowan of Rin unit.