A scavenger hunt is a fun way to follow up on a class novel. Kids will get to explore a range of reading materials, and you may end up with some good readings to use in class – great for some “paired passages” activities!
Plan a visit to the library where you can set the kids loose hunting for books and articles related to the novel they have just finished. For example, after reading the novel The Cay, by Theodore Taylor, students could look for topics like World War II, which was the setting of the book, islands, survival, or ships. Kids with a wide variety of interests should find something to catch their attention here. Those who are interested in technology might find books about different types of ships, kids who just like to be outdoors might choose an article about life on an island, and the adventurous types might select a book about surviving in the wilderness.
Brainstorming a list of possible topics in the classroom before visiting the library can be helpful here. And encourage kids to spread out and consider all types of resources. Non-fiction books, magazines, online or encyclopedia articles, and picture books are all good choices.
After the kids have had time to find some interesting books and articles, have them bring everything to a big library table where you can look through then as a class. Kids can tell what they liked about the books they chose, and then as a group, the class can select a few to take back to the classroom. Short articles or picture books will be great for class read-alouds, and you could do a book talk on a couple of the full-length books (Maybe your librarian can help with this.) or choose short passages to read to the class.
This activity has the advantage of relating to the book you have just read while, at the same time, being open-ended enough to pull in a variety of student interests. Also it’s a great source of new reading material!
In case you are teaching The Cay, here is a freebie that you might like. More resources for the Cay, as well as other novels, are available in my Teachers Pay Teachers store.
Linked with Head Over Heels for Teaching for Spark Student Motivation Saturdays and with Teaching Blog Addict for Freebie Friday: