Chris Wooding

More Information About Poison

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Reading Activities

Reading Strategies

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  • Intro to Key Thems
    Hadley, Heidi. “Intro to Key Themes.” 15 Feb.2004.
    Before reading any novel it is important to provide students with key ideas and themes to look for. Many students often find reading overwhelming, because they are unsure what they are supposed to take away from the novel. This worksheet will contain a list of ten discussion points in which the students will mark either true or false. These discussion points will be directly taken form the book. This activity should contain no more than ten ideas. It is important not to confuse the students with to much at the beginning of a reading unit. Teachers can post them on the board, on an overhead transparency, or on a worksheet. When the students come into class, they should quickly start filling the worksheet and formulating their opinions. Students should spend seven to ten minutes completing this activity. The class should then be divided into small groups to further discuss each prompt. After small group discussions, the class should regroup for a class discussion. While this activity would be beneficial for any genre, I believe it will especially be productive in helping students make life connections in a fantasy novel where themes might not be as apparent.
  • Elements of Literature
    Gessel, Elizabeth. “Elements of Literature.” 18 Sept. 2008
    Before we begin reading a novel it is important for students to understand the basic elements of literature. This activity would be the best to use towards the beginning of the year. This activity will be beneficial in helping students determine how stories are generally set up and what things they should be looking for while reading. Students will write down what they consider the meanings of plot, character, diction, tone, mood, climax, resolution, and setting to mean or include. This should take them around ten minutes. The class will then further discuss the definitions of these literary elements. It will also be beneficial to list of well-known examples from other books or movies that the students can relate to. You can also read a short story as a class and have the students determine the plot, characters, and the setting.
  • Chapter Predictions
    Gardner, Traci. ReadWriteThink: Lesson Plans. International Reading Program.
    This activity will create a way to get excited about the book and will encourage them to start considering what the book will be about. The teacher will give a brief overview of the text and introduction to the main characters of the novel. The students will then be assigned a chapter in the text. Based on the overview and the chapter title, the students will read three or four paragraphs on what they think that chapter will be about. This activity will allow students to use their imaginations, and practice writing. After completing this task, the students will be divided into small groups and asked to share their story with their group. This activity will introduce students to the novel; allow them to improve their writing and presentation skills.
  • Heroic Journey Connection
    Baird, Kristina. “Heroic Journey Connection.” 19 Sept. 2008.
    If I had an older class, I would use Poison as a precursor to studying The Odyssey. There are numerous themes that would connect and build upon one another. These include, but are not limited to the ideas of fate, destiny, responsibility, and of course the idea of a heroic journey or cycle. The heroic journey is a significant part of The Odyssey, but it is also prevalent throughout Poison. For this activity I would introduce the ideas and cycle of the heroic journey. The students would be given a worksheet, and should fill in each stage of the heroic journey as it is being discussed. To further emphasize this point, it would be critical to offer a wide range of examples so everyone in the class could relate to one. After explaining the heroic journey, the students would be assigned to write about the heroic journey of a character that they have already read about or one that they have seen in a movie.
  • Fantasy Character Writing
    Baird, Kristina. “Fantasy Character Writing Assignment.” 19 Sept. 2008[<<]] Before reading a fantasy novel, I think it is beneficial to help students think outside of the normal everyday routine. Because fantasy novels are so outside of the box, I think it would be helpful to have students list of different kinds of fantasy lands, worlds or creatures they are familiar with. Examples could include Star Wars, Harry Potter, or Lord of the Rings realms or hobbits. After discussing and listing of these fictional elements, students should create their own land, world, character or creature. Students can create another character or land to a book or movie they are already familiar with or create an entirely new one. This activity can be completed individually, in a partnership or in a group. This assignment can be a journal write, free write or a paper that they turn in.
  • Vocab In Text
    Thompson, Michelle and Baird, Kristina. “Vocab in the text.” Aug. 2008
    While reading a novel, students should be able to expand their vocabulary. The objective of this activity will help students increase their vocabulary with words from the novel. The teacher should skim through the novel looking for words that his or her students may not already know. The teacher should then create a list of these words and have his or her students look up the definitions for each word. Additionally, the students can draw a picture or create a slogan to help them remember each word. Each student can present a drawing or slogan they created. This activity will increase their vocabulary and their presentation skills. The teacher can also discuss context clues which will help determine meanings of words.
  • Character Graphs[[<<]Hadley, Heidi “Character Graphs” Feb. 2004.
    While reading the book, it is important for students to learn and understand the characters. For this activity the teacher will have each student draw a picture of a character from the book. This drawing should contain things the character likes to do, or items that represent the character. The final picture does not have to be elaborate; it should merely be a representation of the character. Students can also write descriptive words about the character to include in their drawing. Students can then present their work to a partner, or small groups, or to the class. The teacher can also opt to create a bulletin board with the character graphs. This activity will help students reflect on what they have already read and refresh their minds. This activity can also lead to a class discussion comparing and contrasting characters.
  • Point of No Return Essay
    Shelley, Laurel . “Point of No Return Personal Essay.” Sept. 2005.
    At the beginning of Poison, Wooding introduces the theme of a ‘point of no return’ or the idea of a ‘life altering event.’ This activity consists of having each student write a two or three page personal essay where they tell of such an event in their life. This essay should reflect the student’s best writing. This activity would allow students to connect to the text and apply it to their own life. This activity would be most effective when preceded by a class discussion of Poison’s choice to leave the marshes. Poison’s decision to leave would provide the students with an example of a life altering decision that Poison made. If Poison remained in the marshes she would not have meet Bram or Peppercorn or discovered herself.
  • Chapter Skits Thompson, Michelle . “Chapter Skits.” Mar. 2005.
    While reading the novel, it is important for students to visualize what they are reading and understand what is happening in the text. Many of the students may be confused or uncertain of what is happening. For this activity, the class will be divided into groups and each assigned a chapter from their reading assignment. Each group will be given several minutes to discuss what happened in their assigned chapter. Following this discussion, each group will prepare a 3 minute skit to perform in front of the class. The skit should be a summary for the chapter. This will help students with their presentation skills as well as their comprehension skills. The purpose of this activity is to help students visualize what is happening in the text and to clear up any confusion in the plot.
  • Government Comparison
    This novel addresses the court systems and the laws set up in the Phaeire realms. It would be interesting to compare the Phaeire court system and laws to the United States. This activity will spend time building a comprehensive knowledge of the Untied States court system. This activity will consist of a worksheet with 10-15 questions where students must use the web site to answer each question. Questions will consist of judicial review, state courts, appeals, and the Constitution. On the back of the worksheet, students will be asked to make a diagram of the Phaeire court system and list 2 differences between the U. S. and Phaeire court system. This will not only allow the students to connect to the text, but it will help them to gather facts and data to compare and contrast the data. After collecting the date, the class will be divided into two teams. The two teams will represent each court system, one from the Phaeire Realm, and one from the U.S. The class will perform a mock trial following each of the systems. Each side will present Poison’s case as she tries to persuade the court to return Azela to her.
  • Theme Connection
    Baird, Kristina. “Theme Connection.” 18 Oct. 2008. [[
    After reading any novel it is important for the students to connect with key ideas and themes from the novel. This activity will help students reflect on important ideas from the novel. This worksheet will contain a list of ten discussion points in which the students will mark either true or false depending on whether they agree or disagree. The students will also check true or false from the character’s perspective and thing of a way this theme is prevalent through modern society, and then check true or false from modern society’s perspective. This activity should contain no more then ten ideas. Students should begin this activity as they come into class. This activity can lead into group or class discussions.
  • Letter From Character
    Baird, Kristina. “Letter’s from a Character.” 18 Oct. 2008
 <<]] This activity will also students to connect with the characters of the book and to understand more about them. For this activity each student will pick a character from the book and write a letter from his or her perspective.  This letter can be to another character in the book, for example, Poison could write a letter convincing Bram to stay with her. Or students can write a letter to someone they know. This activity will allow the student’s to be creative, focus on an audience, and connect with the text.
  • Reflection Journal
    Hadley, Heidi. “Reflection Journal.” Sept. 2004.
    This assignment will allow students to reflect on the book and consider whether or not they enjoyed reading it. For this activity students will write an informal paper or journal write explaining whether or not they liked or dislike the book and why. They will also write 3 lessons they learned from the novel and whether or not they would recommend this novel to a friend. This assignment will allow students to practice their writing skills, and reflect on the novel. It will also help them recognize that even if they did not like the book, they hopefully still learned something from reading it.
  • Character Connection
    [Baird, Kristina. “Character Connection.” 18. Oct. 2008. [<<]] After reading a novel, the students should have a good understanding of the characters in the book. The students should be able to describe the character’s physical attributes as well as their characteristic traits. This activity will allow students to apply their understanding of this information and analyze it. For this activity each student will pick one of Poison’s adventures, these could be but are not limited to her journey through Shieldtown, her visit to Lamprey, her visit to the Bone Witch’s House, or other such adventures and re-tell the experience from a character’s own words. The students are essentially retelling the novel in first person. This activity can be done in a group and then shared with the class.
  • Choices
    Baird, Kristina. “Personal Choices.” 18. Oct. 2008.

A line in the book states, “When the tale is ended, then the writing will be visible to your eyes; until then, it is unwritten”, for this activity teachers should read students this line and then conduct a small discussion of what it could possibly mean (184). Students should then be given several minutes to brainstorm and reflect on decisions that they have had to make during their lives. The students will then write an essay describing this choice they had to make. Their essay should include how they ultimately made their choice, and how it was resolved. They should then compare their decision to one that Poison made in the book, and describe how it was similar and how it was different.