A Guide for an Independent Novel Study
1. Each week, do two chapters in your novel study.
2. Bring your work with you when you meet with your teacher once a week.
3. Be ready to read aloud. You don’t need to practise ahead of time, although you might like to look at the page describing tips for reading aloud.
For each chapter, do the following:
1. Write a short summary of the most important event that happens; use four to six sentences.
2. Tell when and where the chapter mainly takes place (e.g. in the winter, in the house, in a farmyard) and copy sentences showing evidence of where it takes place.
3. Tell how the main character feels in the chapter (e.g. happy, worried, anxious, hopeful) and copy sentences to provide evidence.
4. Copy one sentence to which you can make a connection and tell how that sentence relates to your own life; use five to ten sentences.
1. When you copy a sentence, put it in quotation marks.
2. When you copy a sentence, add the page number on which it is found.
3. You may use an ellipsis to indicate words you omitted when copying.
4. Do all your work neatly and accurately.
Here is an example from chapter 1 of Days of Terror by Barbara Smucker:
1. “Ten year old Peter Neufeld wakes up and realizes that today is when his older brother Otto will come back from the war. He has been a soldier fighting in the war against Russia and Germany. Otto has always been Peter’s role model. It states in the book that ‘Peter’s pride in Otto has no end.’ Today Peter and his dad are picking Otto up at the station.” (by a 6th grader)
2. The chapter mainly takes place in a village in Tiegen, Russia.
– “…Russian Mennonite village of Tiegen.” p. 15
– “…the 300 villagers of Tiegen…” p. 15
– “Now it was 1917.” p. 17
– “…the long narrow watermelon patches outside the village.” p. 18
– “…the winding Molotschnaya River.” p. 18
“…the barn animals…plodding down the lane…of the village…” p. 20
“…flowerbeds of marigolds and asters and…long vegetable garden.” p. 20-21.
3. In the chapter, the main character feels excited.
– “…jumped out of bed…” p. 16
– “…scrambled into work clothes.” p. 16
“…ran back into the house.” p. 20
– “…mounted impatience inside him.” p. 21
The main character also felt happy.
“…laughed together…” p. 17
“…God’s blessings to you.” p. 21