The Novel Series
The Novel Series
The Novel Series is a theatre and literary arts curriculum designed to allow students to explore literature and the artistry of bringing text to life. Students engage in a layered investigation of text and enter a rigorous artistic process that includes deep academic enrichment and meaningful text-to-self and text-to-world connections.
The Novel Series was developed by Writers Theatre in collaboration with teachers and administrators in Chicago schools. It takes the best practices of literature programs like Writers Workshop, Guided Reading, and Literature Circles and blends them into a student-driven, arts-integrated program. The program fosters a love of reading, appreciation of how themes and events in literature relate to real life, and stretches students' creative potential.
HOW IT WORKS:
- The Novel Series is a 10-session residency that takes place over the course of 2-4 weeks.
- The classroom teacher and WT teaching artist choose a book and collaborate on the unit plan.
- The unit centers on an “essential question”—a big-picture question that highlights a theme or message in the book and helps students connect it to their lives.
- Students work in small groups and rotate through CORNERS that focus on different academic or artistic activities emphasizing vocabulary, writing, discussion, and theatre.
- The corner work is paired with whole-class sessions and culminates in a final presentation of student work.
- All activities are aligned with the Common Core Standards and are assessable.
WHY THE NOVEL SERIES?
- It requires more reading.
- It serves as a flexible template for studying novels and fosters a love of literature.
- It integrates the arts directly into the classroom curriculum.
- It allows the classroom teacher to act as a facilitator instead of a lecturer.
- Students are given multiple avenues to connect to the book through the varied, differentiated exercises that facilitate collaboration, deep examination of text, and small group work.
- TNS doesn't require more work or planning from schools than prepping for a more traditional novel study, but it creatively reframes how to approach reading study.
"What I liked most is how we broke writing into small steps and then put it together and then - WOW - you’re astonished by your work!"
– 8th grade student, Peirce Elementary School
For more information about our residency programs please contact Education Outreach Coordinator Kelsey Chigas at firstname.lastname@example.org.