Leveraging this year’s Booker Prize Short List for #PBL

How can we measure academic growth among students regarding their four years journey of reading, thinking, and writing through their high school English class assignments? How can we create a capstone assessment at the top of a 9-12 vertical design that demonstrates their literary skills? Perhaps more importantly for their future reading life and college course selection decisions, how can we ask students to consider carefully what makes a novel meaningful, engaging, and literary? More specifically in each work of fiction, how do we locate a novel’s literary qualities? How can we ask students to apply the literary skills learned in AP Lang and AP Lit for authentic purpose and meaning? In the spirit of our school mission, how can a project encourage opportunities for life-long reading? The answer: #HQPBL We will again leverage this year’s Booker Prize short list novels to create a project-based learning landscape in our curriculum at least two times this year. We will embrace the dynamic power of literature circles, aka #LitCircles, and give everyone an opportunity of choosing a Booker Prize Shortlisted novel from the exciting 2022 list. We will then offer everyone the powerful #VoiceandChoice opportunity to use student-centered discussions to blaze a path for their reading pleasure. While you will have the same fun you had in your middle school #LitCircle, this Senior Honors Course will ask you to begin literary conversations with journalists who write book reviews of your authors and hopefully have you connect directly with your novel’s author. Last year’s class made meaningful connections with all six shortlisted authors. It will be fun to see what happens this year! The first writing topic will have students recall from the last four years of reading their favorite opening scene from any novel and compare that to the opening pages of their new Booker Prize Shortlisted novel. Then students will write about an important theme for theme from their novel, and this will provide a great building block for their collaborative challenge of creating a podcast. Follow our fun literary conversations on Instagram and Twitter to learn more. https://thebookerprizes.com/


About Bill Sullivan

I am an English teacher working with great students at Suffield Academy. I also teach seniors in various project-based learning environments. Some of the #PBL topics included global issues, such as Pandemics, Climate Change, and Water; more recently I have asked students to research and identify topics important to our school community and their generation. We curate these topics with a #StudentCenteredPBL. For the past eleven years, I also created a driving question for a class to research a local history mystery and present their findings in a community program partnering with our local historical society. These topics encompass researching the lives of enslaved individuals who were contributors to the foundation of our community.
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