Discover creative strategies for bringing novels to life for middle and high school students with this workshop, featuring the words and works of 10 novelists, including Charles Dickens, Mary Shelley, J. K. Rowling, and Toni Morrison. Within the framework of real classroom practice, the workshop offers interviews with contemporary authors, literary critics, teachers, and students, as well as film clips from adaptations of the novels featured. In Search of the Novel poses basic questions that can help you examine the genre from multiple perspectives and bring it to life for your students.
If you’re a teacher serious about implementing an engaging experience with novels, this free on-line resource is a must-see. As a first time user you are required to sign up, but that’s it. You can then view the videos at your leisure with no software or video player downloads needed.
You also have the option to purchase the series on DVD or VHS with learning guides. This would make a great topic for a professional study group at the middle or high school level.
A synopsis of the individual workshops is listed below:
Workshop 1. Who Owns the Novel?
(illustrating how each reader makes a novel his or her own, depending on the reader’s culture, class, generation, gender, and personality)
Workshop 2. What’s the Story?
(how an author spins a story and why it is the most important aspect of the novel)
Workshop 3. Are Novels Real?
(must a novel bear some likeness to reality?)
Workshop 4. Where Do Novels Come From?
(the genesis of characters, plot, themes, and interpretation from the novelist’s point of view)
Workshop 5. Why Do I Have To Read This Book?
(the workshop’s ten novels are examined to see why they appear on recommended reading lists; also reasons for reading)
Workshop 6. What’s in It for Me?
(ways to help students respond to novels on deeply personal levels)
Workshop 7. Who Am I in This Story?
(examining the complex ways readers identify with characters in a novel)
Workshop 8. Am I Getting Through?
(teachers examine their effectiveness in helping students comprehend and appreciate novels; teachers also discuss and demonstrate strategies for evaluation)
9 and 10. Authors’ Notes
(contemporary authors — including Orson Scott Card, Horton Foote, Ernest Gaines, Arthur Golden, Daniel Keyes, Katherine Paterson, J. K. Rowling, and Leslie Marmon Silko — reveal even more of their own writing process)
In Search of the Novel is a little-known gem which you’ll come to treasure!