My Comm 11 class recently finished a novel study of The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie. We spent a few weeks reading much of the novel in class and working on a mix of comprehension, writing and personal opinions and thoughts.

The students found the novel funny, sad, shocking. They were surprised at all the cartoons and drawings. They laughed at the “vocabulary” used by Junior, the protagonist. And they were attentive and interested in reading about Junior’s life and about the things that happened during his year at a new high school.

At the end of the novel study, I collected written opinions on the book and whether they’d recommend it for next year’s class.

The highlights from their opinion pieces:

-for some, this has been the only book in high school that they finished reading;

-they’ve never liked reading anything in English until this book.

As a final activity, I asked everyone to work in groups to come up with a theme from the novel.

The following posters are now displayed on the classroom walls.

Next up:  Macbeth.