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Starting The City of Ember

I love fresh beginnings ... especially the fresh beginning of a brand new class novel.  Our start back to school this month meant the start of a new novel for us - The City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau.  Knowing I wanted to do this novel with the class at some point this year, I bought the 4-book series this summer.

We're four chapters in right now, and my students are LOVING it!  I bought two different guides from TPT for our novel study.  You can see them HERE and HERE.  I really like having the huge variety of activities to choose from - and it's so easy to differentiate for my students.

We've also been using my Story Elements Question Fans for discussion questions after our daily oral reading.  I have been blown away by the depth of our conversations.  The students are really into this book and it shows - I can't believe the intricate details they have remembered ... and the way they are challenging and building on other students' answers is amazing!

We've been focusing a lot on setting at the beginning of the novel.  I ask them questions from the setting pack in the fans, then we've been filling in our map, discussing significant places after each chapter.  We're building towards this fabulous idea of a 3D Mural I saw on Jen Maschari's blog.  You've got to click HERE to see the picture - trust me!  I showed my students this pic and they are SO excited to create this mural - they've already requested certain jobs and parts within the mural.  Later this week I will group them into 3 groups (above Ember, Ember, and below Ember) and they will begin writing down setting details and deciding on their roles.  I don't think I can hold them off much longer.  I already prepped a bulletin board for this project - I think I'm as excited as my students!  ;)


What are you currently reading in class?

Happy Tuesday!  (oh my goodness - is it really only Tuesday???) 



Jen



23 comments:

  1. Sounds very fun! I thought it was Wednesday all day long :( Hopefully tomorrow will go by quickly! We aren't doing a book right now since we are using almost all of our time to write and practice our speeches. The plan is to read "Hoot" starting in February! Jen

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  2. I was just talking about reading this book to my class. I've used as a class read aloud before and the kids really got into it and it was so much fun watching them get excited to listen to a story. Probably going to do this book with them after we finish reading group books in a few weeks. Enjoy!

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  3. I am reading "City of Orphans" by Avi with my 5th graders. They are loving it! I also use YOUR comprehension question fans after we read. I put a question on my document camera and the kids respond in their reading response notebooks.

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  4. Thanks for all of this information Jen!! I've been reading about this book since you posted (had to come back to tell you!) and I think my 5th graders would really enjoy. Your comprehension fans would be a must, but of course, luckily I have them! Thanks again, I adore your blog!! :) :)

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  5. I love the mural idea. We are on Chapter 13. My kids beg me to read it to them. We have been having some interesting discussions. My class is having quite the issues with food choices in Ember! We are also doing a healthy eating unit, so this has been quite the awesome chat!

    Some of my kids I had last year are begging for me to do "veggication" again! We tried different vegetables that some students had never seen or heard of before! It was fun and I have to say I was shocked at how willing all of the kids were to try new vegetables when their classmates brought them to school. I guess I am going to do this again! Have a great week!

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  6. Your excitement is contagious! I bet your students get so much more out of this novel because of your passion! You've convinced me to read "The City of Ember" to my Grade Six students!

    In December, I showed my kids Chris Van Allsburg "The Mysteries of Harris Burdick". They loved his illustrations and have been busily writing their own narratives to go with them. While they are working on their stories, I have been reading aloud "The Chronicles of Harris Burdick" which are short stories written by famous authors based on those same illustrations. My kids are using these short stories as "mentor texts". As they finish their stories, I've been posting them on a Wiki. http://gr6harrisburdickstories.wikispaces.com/

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  7. I have read that book with my class for the past two years...Each group has LOVED it. Both groups have wanted to go ahead and read the second book...The People of Sparks...It continues on when they are above ground. The third book in the series is the prequel. It is not that great! The fourth book continues on after the second book. It is good too, but I like the first one the best! There is also a movie of the first book. A few things are different, but it is a good thing to watch after reading the first book to compare and contract all the similarity and differences.

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  8. Also, there is a graphic novel of the City of Ember book...My kids loved reading it. I found it after we read the novel.

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  9. I wish my grade level had quality literature sets!! I would love to read The City of Ember!

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  10. Hey! I had a question for you but I can't find an email to contact you at - it's regarding collaborating on some French language products with you. I'm a fellow Ontario teacher! Want to send me an email, alymarcotte@gmail.com and I'll let you know what I have in mind? Thanks!! :)

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  11. I LOVE the City of Ember! I read it to my class as a read aloud from Sept., and finish right before Christmas vacation. We spend 2 days watching the movie, and compare and contrast. The movie is NOTHING like the book, but the kids like comparing. I also love when they say, "The book was way better!"

    I've read the second book, and I must say, it is not as exciting as the first. I tried it as a read aloud last year, and the kids were not into it at all. I have the books in my classroom library for students who are interested to sign it out if they'd like to read it though.

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  12. Never heard of this book and am now off to find out more about it! We are currently reading "The Lion The Witch and The Wardrobe" they are loving it! Maniac Magee was a HUGE hit in December in our room!

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  13. I also have never heard of it, but will definitely get it! I have 1 3/4 combo and are reading "Eight Keys". They kids LOVE IT!

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  14. We did City of Ember before Christmas and are now reading The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane! My students seem to LOVE every read aloud:)

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  15. We are reading this book now as well, and doing the energy/ electricity unit in science. It was so funny to hear the kids making circuits yesterday commenting on the connections between the book and science. I must agree, the first book was definitely the best book, but the second and fourth book are also pretty good. My kids have really enjoyed reading ahead and then even going on to the other books by her. I love it when they get excited about an author/ series!

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  16. Hi! Your comprehension fans look awesome!
    We're reading Holes in my Year 6 (UK) class, and Thief (Malorie Blackman) in my Year 5 class. I love how excited they get with the connected activities!

    Kelli
    Tales From a Traveling Teacher

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  17. Take a good look at the map at the beginning of the book. The legend tells the size of the city....TINY, about the size of six football fields ... My students were shocked.
    Lauren

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  18. Take a good look at the map at the beginning of the book. The legend tells the size of the city....TINY, about the size of six football fields ... My students were shocked.
    Lauren

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  19. I love The City of Ember. Definitely one I want to share with my kids. Life with Mrs. L

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  20. My students (3rd/4th graders) and I are just finishing Wonder and we loved it!!! I am looking for our next read aloud and loved the enthusiasm you showed for City of Ember. I wanted to find out where you got the map displayed in your picture above.
    Thank you!
    Wendy

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  21. I was looking for things to pin on my Pinterest board and came across your post. Thank you for the link to my study guide!!

    My students love this novel. I would recommend it to all those ahead of me of this post that haven't heard of it.

    Thank you again,
    Gay Miller

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  22. I was looking for things to pin on my Pinterest board and came across your post. Thank you for the link to my study guide!!

    My students love this novel. I would recommend it to all those ahead of me of this post that haven't heard of it.

    Thank you again,
    Gay Miller

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