Independent Reading is a significant part of a sixth grader's development in Language Arts. Last year we implemented Readers' Workshop at the middle school level. Most of our incoming sixth graders will be experienced with Reader's Workshop and we will be including reading in class, conferencing, and developing habits of good readers in our classroom experience. It is our hope that this program provides all readers with enough choices so that everyone can find something that they enjoy reading. Participation will be evaluated as homework, class work, and writing assignments. As we proceed through the school year, we will be providing students the opportunity to experience a variety of genres through independent reading. Our intention is to foster the joy of reading and to encourage students to read more than ever before.
The independent reading program provides an opportunity to expose students to a variety of authors and genres. This program allows students to choose books which interest and challenge them at their own reading level.
- Students should have an independent reading book at school and at home at all times.
- Students are asked to read at home at least two hours (50-100 pages) per week. Our goal is to make reading a valued habit.
- Students are encouraged to read as many books per marking period as they can.
Independent reading responses will be assigned periodically as both in-class assignments and as homework. Lists of prompts are included below.
Independent Reading Prompts
1. Who is the main character of your novel? Describe this
character in such a way that you create a word picture of what
he/she looks like and what his/her personality is like. What is the
main characters wish or the problem he/she is facing?
2. Explain the title of your novel. What meaning does it have
in the story? Why do you think the author chose the title?
3. How do you feel about the novel you are reading so far?
Would you recommend it to a friend? Why or why not? Give specific
reasons and examples from the story.
4. Identify your favorite character in the novel so far.
Discuss why you like this character so much. Is it because of the
characters actions, personality, and decisions? Be specific.
5. Choose the event from the story that you think is the most
important so far. Give specific details from the story that
supports your reason for choosing this event.
6. What is the setting of the novel you are reading? Describe
it using as many VIVID details/adjectives as possible. Why do you
think the author chose this particular setting?
7. Is the author of your book a male or a female? Do you think
the story would be any different if it were written be a person of
the opposite gender? Explain why or why not using specific examples
from the story to support your reasons.
8. What is the genre of the story you are reading? What in the
story helped you to figure out what the genre was? Give some
specific examples from your novel.
9. Did this book make you laugh, cry, cringe, smile, cheer,
etc.? With details, explain why you had this reaction.
10. Identify a major hurdle or problem a character faces in your
novel. How would you react under similar circumstances? What would
you have done differently?
11. Select an interesting quotation from an important character
in your novel. Explain with details from the story what the
importance of the quotation was to your novel.
12. Review the different types of conflicts that can occur in a
story. Identify the main conflict of the novel you are reading. Is
it man vs. himself, man vs. man, man vs. nature, or man vs. society?
Give details that explain how this conflict affects the story.
13. What could the author have done to make this story even more
interesting than it already is? Give specific examples and explain
why these changes would make the story even better.
14. Change the setting of your novel to modern times in the town
of Holden. Explain how this would change the story. Be specific.
This involves comparing and contrasting the existing setting and
15. Make a prediction as to what you think will happen next in
your novel. Give plenty of details to support your prediction.
16. What is the most unusual thing that has happened in your
novel so far? Describe it in detail.
17. What do you think the major theme of your story is? What
was the author trying to teach you when he/she wrote this book?
Give examples from the story that show this theme.
18. Compare and contrast two characters from the story. Be sure
to explain both similarities and differences.
19. Create your own interesting reading log question and answer
it in a minimum of ten sentences.
20. If your story is fiction, is it believable? Explain why or
why not with details from the novel.
21. Write about a time when a character shows some kind of
strength. This strength could be mental or physical. How does this
display of strength add to what is happening in the story?