Sunday, March 3, 2013

A Novel Study: Frindle

My class just finished reading Frindle by Andrew Clements. We did a lot of really fun activities with this book, most of which could be used with any novel.

1. Prereading plot sort - I wrote the title names on slips of paper.  We previewed the book and then students worked together in groups to glue the titles in what they thought was the correct order.  We periodically checked back with these lists as we were reading to see whose guesses were closest.

2. Dictionary word look up - I don't have students copy definitions from a dictionary as part of our vocabulary studies, but I couldn't help but giving them just a little taste of Ms. Granger's medicine!  I chose 10 words from the book and my students looked them up.  After this they were certainly glad they didn't have 35 words to look up each week!

3. Fact and Opinion sort - My students wrote down 10 statements made by the main character. They then sorted the statements into facts or opinion.

4. Beginning Middle End Character Analysis - After we read the last chapter of this book students were surprised to learn that Ms. Granger had been on Nick's side all along.  This led us to a great discussion about characterization.  We divided a paper into three sections and labeled them beginning/middle/end.  We then used the folded paper for students to record what they thought of Ms. Granger at the beginning/middle/end of the book.  I was very pleased with how creative some of my students were with their word choices and "evidence".

5. Paper Plate Characters - Students chose one of the two main characters and then picked out two words that described the character.  Next, they had to give evidence to back up the claims they'd made about the character.  When that was done, students got a paper plate and piece of construction paper.  They created a shirt (or dress in some cases) from the construction paper and wrote their words and evidence on the front.  Then the paper plate was transformed into the character's head.  After students were finished we stapled the head to the shirt.  We created a bulletin board using all the characters (I took it down before I got a picture!).  They look like bobble head dolls - too cute! 

6. Scene Snap Shot - For this activity we chose to hone in on the chapter where Nick gets his "Big Idea".  Students drew what they visualized when reading the chapter, then wrote a caption for the illustration on an index card.  Then on the back of the drawing they wrote a paragraph detailing what happened before the scene and then another paragraph telling what happened after the scene.


We've had a lot of snowy weather lately which means delays and missed class time.  There were a few activities I've had to choose to push aside.  I had really wanted to create a flipbook that had character/setting/plot flaps, so maybe we'll use that for the next novel.  I am planning on having students create their own words this week during our writing time. 

What are some of your favorite activities to use with novels? 


  1. Hi Courtney,
    I love your Frindle novel study! Each of our fourth graders was given their own copy this book to read prior to the start of school (an idea taken from the One School, One Book initiative). With all students sharing in the experience of reading the book over the summer, it built a great a sense of community. I plan to share some of your ideas with our teachers for next year. :)
    Proud new follower!

    Read with Me ABC

  2. I've used Frindle in my class before and these activities are great to add to my repertoire! Thanks so much. Just pinned this to use later :)

    Fourth Grade Lemonade

  3. I teach adult ESL students and one challenge with using children's books is that the activities were meant for children not adults.. but I am so excited to use your ideas with my adult students. I think it will be great.. thanks again for a wonderful blog :)


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