“Flutter”! Best read aloud of the year!

We finished it today!

I cannot recommend the book “Flutter” highly enough for a read aloud for 4th or 5th graders!  I am not exaggerating when I say that all 22 students ranked it a 10 out of 10–seriously, when does THAT ever happen?

We did SO much thinking about this book . . . there is SO much to it!

 . . . foreshadowing
 . . . symbolism
 . . . flashback
 . . . deep characters
 . . . conflict

After we finished the book there was just silence . . . and the students then just started chattering about the ending and how the pieces all tied together.  I don’t want to give too much away–but I would highly recommend that you put it on your “I should read this over the summer!” list.  We took some time to add to our mobile–we have had SO many comments on it from visitors!
So, what to do next?  SUMMARIZE!  We have been working so desperately hard to refine our summarizing skills–how to take the “essence” of a text and write about it in such a way that the story is captured without a retelling.
I challenged the students to summarize the novel in 4 sentences.  They worked alone, then shared, then revised, then we went to the computer lab and typed them up.  We knew we wanted to do something special with them so . . .

We traced . . .

We added the veins . . .

We cut out heads and added googly eyes . . .
We used paint with cotton swabs to add the details . . .

 . . . and then hung them up with their summaries!

Aren’t they gorgeous?  The students were so excited!  It was a great way to end the novel.

Several of you have asked me more details about our “Fluttermobile”!  Here are the questions we have hanging from our ceiling:

  • What symbols do we discover in this book?
  • What conflicts or struggles happen in this text?
  • What would be on Maple’s “Top Ten” list?
  • What is MY opinion about this text?
  • What do we learn about the characters as the text unfolds?
  • What message(s) do you think the author wants us to take away?
  • What lessons are learned in this story?
  • Why is the book called “Flutter”?
  • What theme does this book represent?
  • Do we see any evidence of foreshadowing in this text?

We still haven’t finished discussing all of them with respect to the end of the text…tomorrow we will vote on and decide which 10 items that we have been brainstorming along the way will make it to Maple’s “Top Ten” list.  We also need to talk about lessons learned and “theme”.

And there you have it!  Now . . . to pick the next one!  Perhaps the One and Only Ivan?  Wonder? Any recommendations from YOU?