One of my problems with being a teacher was that I too often got sucked into children’s books. I started the whole Harry Potter series in order to share a good story with kids and stay knowledgeable. Um, yeah, now reading them for myself. Anyway, some other adult friends stuck in this phase handed me the book, “What Will Happen In Harry Potter 7”. Pure conjecture, but interesting reading. I know kids who would eat that book up. But the great part is that JK Rowling writes it with constant references to previous books and interviews. What a great example for students!

I found good success in adding the blog to my book study time in the classroom. The students were already reading the chapters and writing about them, but now they were discussing and not writing as little as possible. A requirement I would put into our framework would be to give page numbers when referring to their evidence. I found several students slowly reading with their pencils in hand so they could make notes in the margins of the books. It was great to see them taking ownership of the material they were reading. The blog would show evidence of that because they would argue their points or validate each other with evidence.

A simple statement and assigning ‘devil’s advocate’ roles to a few students can provide a wealth of literature review practice. “Harry is secretly a bad guy” or “There is no global warming” can get book pages and notebooks flying in order to give proof of an opinion. The blog can provide a quite place to have that discussion and record it for future reference.

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