Monday, October 8, 2012

Jigsaw Puzzle Book Project

October is not only the start of what really feels like fall in the northeast, but it is also the season of Open Houses, parent conferences and midterm reports.  Knowing this, I love to have a creative project for my students in the works.  The Jigsaw Puzzle Book Project is a great example of a reading project that is not only aligned with the Common Core and a fantastic review of the elements of story that combines reading and writing, but it's a creative way for students to share what they are reading that can be displayed for both peers and parents.

As the Common Core requires, for this project students are expected to show they can:
  • identify the specific elements of a story and analyze how they interact.
  • determine the theme or central idea of a story.
  • provide an objective summary of a story.

This 9-page packet includes step-by-step directions for students to create an 8 piece puzzle - the front of which is a visual representation of the book that the student chose to read.  Once the puzzle is cut apart, the back of each piece has a specific writing task that addresses each element of the story - plot, character, setting, theme, conflict/resolution - as well as summaries and recommendations.

Students have a self- assessment rubric that corresponds with the rubric that is used by the teacher for grading.

The packet also includes planning pages for each of the writing tasks.

The finished project can then be shared with the class.  I have had students present to the whole class in the past, but last year I set my room up as a book fair and it was so much more fun!  Over a 2 day period, half of each of my 7th grade sections displayed their books and puzzles for the other students to see.  Much like a science fair, they talked about the book they read, showed their puzzle and answered questions.  Then the next day the students switched roles - again with half of the class presenting and the other half viewing the displays.  Left set up, the puzzles can be a great display for Open House or to share at parent conference days.

This just may be the creative alternative that you've been looking for to supplement the assessments that are being given to monitor reading comprehension.  If you would like to see more of this project and download a preview, please click {HERE} to visit this product page at my teacher store.  While there, feel free to look around at some other products that may be helpful as well - including FREEBIES! (My Work Order for students is a great freebie to accompany this project!  It will help your students budget their time for long-term assignments.  Featured in this month's The Cornerstone for Teachers Best Teacher's Freebies collection, this simple form can help your students begin to develop a very important life skill.)

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