Literature, Literacy, and Learning

March 17, 2016 Posted by Judith Youngers, Ph.D.

I tend to read several tradebooks for youth or young adults weekly. My other passion is Foldables®, and I help design resource books and templates for Dinah as well as work with teachers at the Dinah Zike Academy and on the road at conferences. I also work with students at local schools and at the Comfort Library.

Home of the Brave by Katherine Applegate

I’ve found a book I’d like to share with you along with corresponding Notebook Foldables® that I have created and tried out with teachers and with students at different levels. Each book I share has reading, writing, and cross-curricular connections and is tied to standards-based skills and concepts. The book I have chosen for this post is Home of the Brave by Katherine Applegate (2007), a moving and memorable insider view of an eleven year-old newcomer and outsider in this country. The high impact book, written in prose poem style received the SCBWI 2008 Golden Kite Award for Best Fiction, the Bank Street 2008 Josette Frank Award, a Book Sense Children’s Pick and the SLJ Best Book of the year awards. I love sharing this book and rereading it myself many times over. It’s appropriate for 4th grade through senior high readers.

Now for some purposeful Notebook Foldables:

2 potential tabbed Venn Diagrams:

Traditional Venn Diagram for Compare & Contrast Labels might be: refugee / both /  immigrant 

or comparing two characters who are quite different, but who share some commonalities and become friends: Kek / both / Hannah

Venn Diagram Merger 

Labels might be: prose / prose poem / poem  


Four Door or Dependent Envelope Fold

Kek makes several friends in his new home. Students choose four. They can then label the four exposed tabs with these friend’s names and under the tabs tell what Kek, the main character, learned from each of them about new beginnings, providing text evidence.

Two-Tab or Two Pocket Collecting:

Similes and Metaphors abound in this story. Students can make a simple dependent two-tab from scratch or use a copy of the pre-made pocket template, (pg. 26,Notebooking Central Title: Literary Elements, Devices, and Language) to collect and categorize those they feel are particularly powerful.

Here I selected just a few Notebook Foldables that I’ve used with this particular piece of literature, but ones that could be used with many other pieces of fiction or nonfiction. How do you use Notebook Foldables to develop or reinforce literacy skills or go deeper into a tradebook?

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