Learning task 1: Starting out
Before issuing the assignment try some of the activities from the Logging up reading mileage unit to get your students thinking about reading and its importance.
More importantly students need to be enthused about:
- the degree of choice they have about what they read for this assignment
- the range of books they have to choose from.
Try some of the following during an initial reading/library period:
- Share the assignment (see learning task 2) with your librarian/resource centre staff to ensure a wide range of books, suitable for the range of tastes and abilities in your class are available for the introductory period.
- As they work on the assignment students may need revision of some of the linguistic terms mentioned, including parts of speech. See this ARB resource for the revision of the latter.
- Draw upon your own knowledge of some of the texts as well as the knowledge of colleagues (if available), students in your class and your librarian to "market" some of the available books. Depending upon you and the class, this might involve some of the following:
- always show students the cover - put 1-2 on over-head transparency and ask student to make predictions based on their readings of the covers
- brief plot synopsies designed to whet appetites
- hints about the themes to be encountered in particular books
- "warnings" about the "mature content" of some of the books
- using overtly manipulative reverse psychology, share your personal dislike of some books
- show the opening sequence from film versions of 1-2 of the books
- read blurbs - if they are well written and enticing
- prepare readings of opening extracts or particularly exciting/moving parts of a book
- talk briefly about some aspect of an author's life if this is likely to attract some students to their book.
Above all, be as knowledgeable and passionate as you can about the books you are introducing.