Frindle Literature Circle Activities

Instructor: Nora Jarvis

Nora has a Master's degree in teaching, and has taught a variety of elementary grades.

The book ''Frindle'' by Andrew Clements is a great choice for a literature circle read in your classroom. Use these activity ideas to develop a literature circle for this quirky novel about word play.

Why Use Literature Circles?

Literature circles are a way to have a small group of students engage with a book. A group of 4-5 students will read through the book independently and complete assignments along the way. Then, they gather in a literature circle to self-direct a discussion about the section of the book they just read and the related assignments. Students build up independence and have an opportunity to learn from their peers.

Frindle is a great choice for a literature circle book because there are many different possible activities that kids can complete. They'll enjoy the interesting take on language, which can provide lots of opportunities to dissect the way that we use and think about language.

A New Dictionary

When Nick renames the pen a frindle, it seems like he's really onto something. In their journals, have kids keep track of the different names that Nick and other kids give to objects. They can create their own dictionary of Frindle words. You can then extend this activity in a few different ways. Students can write a story using as many of the new words as they can, and then share their stories with their literature circle. They can also add their own words to the new dictionary, making sure to not overlap and find words they think fit with the rest of the language.

Connections

In their journals or on post-its, students should record the connections they have as they read through a section of the book. You might consider having students focus on text-to-text connections, since Frindle deals with the subjects of language and group dynamics which might be present in other books they've read. Students should record their connections along with the part of the text that the connection corresponds to. In their literature circles, students share their connections and reflect on the connections that their group partners made.

Hero vs. Villain

Students create a T-chart in their journals, one side is labeled Hero and the other is labeled Villain. As they read, they should write which characters they think are heroes or villains, and write brief notes about what makes that character a hero or villain. In their literature circles, students discuss how they made their decisions and find textual evidence to support their ideas about which characters are heroes or villains.

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