Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Gregor The Overlander

I have written before of Peters involvement in a book club called, Oregon Battle of the Books or OBOB for short. One of the books he has to read is Gregor the Overlander written by Suzanne Collins. This book is fantasy and Peter isn't much into this sort of thing. I thought he would never get to a point where he would approach this book with anything close to enthusiasm. I was wrong. About 12 chapters into it he got so involved he would listen to the audio without being told.

This books reading level is 4.9 which is above Peters ability. I read to him the first 10 chapters then realized we were going too slow. I would never be finished by the deadline if we didn't figure something out. This is where the audio book came in. What a lovely way for him to read on his own without my help. Children who also follow along with the reading in their own books build fluency at an astonishing rate!

Students in OBOB must write questions and answers on the book they are reading and quiz their team mates in preparation for going before judges at the final competition. The judges have 80 questions written on every book no matter how long the book is! The questions include things that are very obscure such as the weather on any given day in the book or the clothes that the character was wearing. There is no way to predict what they will pull out.

The way the children are taught to read the books is very helpful in all subjects. As Peter reads he uses sticky notes to mark the side of the page that he thinks might hold important facts. When the book is read the kids take index cards and go back through their books forming questions out of the facts.

Gregor the Overlander is not a book I would have picked for my child to read but Im glad Peter is reading it. It is a whole new genre for him and it makes him think and reason in ways he hasn't had to before.

I, of course will keep you updated on how OBOB turns out! Hopefully Peters team will be selected to go to state!

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