November 2021 –
There are about a million activities you can do with a novel (ok, that may be a slight exaggeration; but there are a lot). Tabata Timeline (a la Señorita Spanish) has become one of my favorites. It’s become one of my favorites for a few reasons:
1 – It’s virtually zero prep (unless you’re printing her template) and…
2 – I can use it with literally any chapter of any book ever.
For these two reasons, I use it often. If we’re reading and a chapter ended quickly or faster than I thought, I can pull this activity out with no prep work required. It’s also great because it’s challenging and the kids enjoy it. So… how does it work?
Step 1: Read the information you want kids to use (doesn’t even have to be a novel, but it does either need quite a few events or it needs to be long enough to have enough material for 9+ unique events)
Step 2: Kids need a piece of paper (or Señorita Spanish’s template) that they will fold into 9 sections. I like. to fold the paper with them… because the idea of 9 pieces is a lot for them to process 😂
Step 3: Students write 9 things that happened in the chapter. I like to emphasize that these are things that happened, or something someone said, or did.. not necessarily “events”. I give kids like 2 minutes to write these down… or else they’ll take forever. DO NOT LET THEM NUMBER THE EVENTS.
Step 4: After their events are written, they will tear their paper into the 9 boxes and mix up the order and stack them on their seat.
Step 5: Students will change seats (I keep them standing because it’s faster) in a pre-established order (like everyone goes to the right, etc.)
Step 6: When you say “go” students will have :45 seconds to put the events in front of them in the correct order. At the end of :45 seconds, even if they are not finished, they will stop and mix them back up and switch.
Step 7: Repeat as many times as you’d like, I like to do 5 or so. If no one is finishing I might extend for 2 more rounds. If they are finishing then I’ll speed up the time :05 seconds each round.