SMART (Self-Motivated A_____ Reading Time)

As part of our never-ending quest to be smarter and to be better readers and 
writers, this year we will be engaged in a free-reading project.  Each day 
in class, you will spend 30 minutes reading silently a book of your choice.  
The only requirement for your reading selection is that be a narrative in the
form of a continuous story (this means a novel or a biography written in 
story formóif you have any question as to whether a specific choice is 
appropriateóASK ME!!!)

Your responsibilities are simple.  First, just read each day.  At the end of 
our reading time, you will record in your journal the date and the name of 
the book you read.  Usually after this we will do a short in-class writing.  
Sound easy so far?  Good.  The last part is the tough one.  Each week you 
are going to be responsible for doing one of our SMART activities.

Actually, that isn't quite true.  There are four levels of activitiesósilver, 
gold, platinum, and diamond.  Each activity is graded on a rubric on a scale 
of 1 to 5.  To get your score for the assignment, multiply your rubric score 
by whichever of the following values applies:


The values come from approximately how many weeks you should spend on the 
project.  To do a great job on a Platinum assignment, you should put in about
three weeks on it.  

Your final grade will be the sum of all your scores.  The scale for each 
grading period for your reading grade is as follows:


So, if you do one silver activity each week and you do them all perfectly, 
you will get an A, because you will get a 5 on your rubric, multiply it by 
the value score (1), and add 9 of them together to get 45.

If you do 3 gold activities and do them perfectly, you will have 30 points 
already and it will have taken you approximately six weeks.  To get an A, 
you only need to do three more silver assignments.


Só1  Make a soundtrack for the book by choosing at least 10 popular songs.  
For each song, explain in atleast one sentence why you chose the song and how
it relates to the events or characters in the book.  (You can use quotes if 
you want to.)

Só2  If you could change places with one character, who would it be and why?
Your explanation should be at least one page.  Remember to describe the 
character and their situation well because your audience may not have read 
the book.  Give us EVIDENCE--examples of things the character has done or 
said that supports your description.

Só3  Which character is most like you?  Why?  Your explanation should be at 
least one page.  Remember to describe the character well because your audience
may not have read the book.  Give us EVIDENCE-- examples of things the 
character has done or said that support your description.  Also, give EVIDENCE 
of what it is about you that is similar to the character--these might be 
examples of things you have said or done.

Só4  Change the time and place of the novel.  Explain how this would change 
the story.  First tell us where and when the novel takes place.  Then tell 
us where and when you would change it to.  Focus on how the characters would 
be different and on how the plot (what happens) might change.  For example, 
if your book takes place in 1920 and has a female character who is a nurse,
you might change the time to 2001 and say that nowadays, a woman interested
in medicine can be a doctor.  

Só5  Become one of the characters and describe your experiences during a 
certain event.  Your description should be at least one page.  Write in the 
FIRST PERSON (using 'I') and remember to use as many senses as 
possible in your description.

Só6  Choose one character, tell how they behaved/what they were like in the
beginning, how they behaved/what they were like at the end, and how they 
changed.  Your description should be at least one page.  

Só7  Make a cartoon of the book or a chapter (at least 8 panels in full color
with text.)

Só8  Draw a scene from the book.  Your drawing will be scored based on how 
much detail is included.  Make sure you somehow show who the people are in 
your picture.

Só9  Describe an experience you've had that was like something that happened 
in the book.  Your description should be at least one page.  First, describe
the event in the book, then describe the even that happened to you.

Só10  Write a blues song for a character.  Include a one paragraph 
explanation after the song of why this song is appropriate for the character.

Só11  Make a collage of a major theme from the book.  Use clippings from 
magazines, newspapers, etc.  The collage must be on paper that is at least 
8 1/2 x 14 and should include at least 10 different clips.  On the 
back explain in one paragraph what theme you are representing and what it 
has to do with your novel.

Só12  Imagine your book is being turned into a movie--who would play each 
character?  Name at least 8 characters and who would play them (explain in at
least one sentence why and include a quote from each character that makes 
your point.) and tell where you would film the movie.

Só13  Write an obituary for a character (at least one pageólook in the 
newspaper or ask me for examples.)


Gó1  Write a letter to a character.  Then, have that character write a letter 
answering back in the voice of the character (using words they would use and 
saying things they would say.)  Each letter should be at least one page.  

Gó2  Pretend you are a newspaper reporter and write out an interview with one 
of the characters (at least 10 OPEN questions and answers.)

Gó3  Write an ORIGINAL SONG about the book (at least 20 lines.)  Include a 
one paragraph explanation of how the song relates to the events and 
characters of the book.

Gó4  Become a character and write a diary with at least 5 entries.  Include 
events from the novel and how you feel about them.  Write in the voice of the
character (using words they would use and saying things they would say.)

Gó5  Make an illustrated time line of events in the book, make sure your 
time-line includes at least 10 events with a two sentence description and 
small picture or clipping describing each event.

Gó6  Make a character up!  Imagine a character that was not in the book but 
that could have been.  Write a conversation between this character and one 
of the existing characters (one page) and tell how the book would change 
with this new character (half a page.)

Gó7  What could happen after the story is over?  Write a brief summary 
(two pages) of a sequel to the book (describe the main characters, tell what 
the plot would be.)

Gó8  Write an imaginary interview with the author (at least 15 open questions
and answers.)

Gó9  Draw a map (in color) of one place in the book, labeling landmarks and
points of interest.

Gó10  Write letters from one character to another, with the second character 
responding.  Each letter should be one page and in the voice of the character.

Gó11 Redesign the front and back cover of the book, complete with a blurb and
quotes on the back (these should be made up!)

Gó12  Write a "Dear Abby" column with questions from at least four characters
asking for advice and your answers as Dear Abby (each should be at least 
1/2 page.)

Gó13  Get two different colored pens and choose a page from the book that you
particularly liked.  Begin by writing the first sentence from the page in the 
book in one color.  Then add a sentence of your own in another color.  Then 
go back and write the next sentence in the book.  Continue alternating until
your have finished the page.

Gó14  Make a mobile of a character from the book.  On the front of each piece 
have a picture that represents a character, on the back have a description of
the character and your favorite quote that describes them or your favorite 
quote that the character said.

Gó15  Write and perform a TV commercial for your book in front of the class.


Pó1  What else happens?  Add a chapter to the end of the book.  This should 
be at least three or four pages and in the style of the book.

Pó2  What do you think should have happened that didn't?  Write a chapter 
that's missing in the middle of the book.  This should be at least four pages 
and in the style of the book.

Pó3  What happened first?  Write a chapter that comes before the book began.
This should be at least four pages and in the style of the book.

Pó4  Pick two characters from different books.  Describe a meeting between 
the two of them (where and when and how it would take place) and write twenty 
lines of dialogue between them.

Pó5  Find and read an interview with the author or a review of the book.  
Readit and write a summary (attach a copy of the interview.)  What surprised
you? What didn't surprise you?  Your summary should be at least one page.

Pó6  Rewrite a section of the book from a different character's point of view
than is in the original book.  This should be at least four pages and in the 
style of the book.

Pó7  Rewrite a section of the book with yourself as a character.  This should 
be at least four pages and in the style of the book.


Dó1  Act out and video tape several scenes from the book of at least ten 
minutes.  Present it to the class.

Dó2  Write and illustrate (you can use cut-outs) a full children's book 
telling the story of your bookówith a cover.


5óMeets all criteria, creative, thoughtful 
4óMeets most of criteria, somewhat creative and thoughtful
3óMeets some of the criteria, somewhat creative or thoughtful
2óMeets little of the criteria, not creative, not thoughtful
1óMinimally meets the criteria for the assignment