Using Nearpod for Novel Studies
Hi friends! I am so excited to talk about today’s topic: Using Nearpod in novel studies! Novel studies are one of my favorite things to teach in the classroom. I usually do three to four a year and we are about to start the second one this week. I’m using one of my absolute favorite novels, Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt. This book never fails to capture even the most reluctant reader and make them sit on the edge of their seat, holding their breath to see what happens next. It seriously makes me so happy to use this book in my classroom.
I’m also excited to share how I use Nearpod in my novel studies. First of all, if you don’t know about Nearpod or you aren’t exactly sure what it is, it’s basically a presentation tool that you can incorporate a lot of different interactive parts to help keep your students engaged. Nearpod also downloads individual and whole classroom reports. When you create a presentation and you’re ready for your students to view it, simply click “live session” on the presentation and you will be given a code. Watch a video that shows how to launch a lesson here. The students use that code to log in and the first slide of the presentation immediately appears. Nearpod has live and self-paced lessons, to learn the difference, click here.
Although there are many features that I love about this site, my favorite part has to be the ability to lock the screen. We all have students who want to jump ahead to the next part or click something else that has nothing to do with the lesson. When you use Nearpod, YOU control which part of the presentation your students are seeing. How great is that? Trust me, it definitely comes in handy!
I also love all of the different interactive features you can add to the presentation that hold students accountable and keep them engaged. You can add quizzes, polls, interactive drawings, videos, and more. When you add these interactive features, you can see how your students have responded and you can then choose to share certain responses with the entire class. Whatever you share will appear on the students’ screens. You can access these student reports by downloading individual or whole class data.
So, now that we’ve covered what Nearpod is and what I love about it, let’s get into how I use it for novel studies:
When we do a novel study, I like to spend a little time on pre-reading strategies. You know- looking at the book cover; predicting what the story will be about; asking questions after reading the synopsis. Normally, I pass out copies of the book and have the kids look at it and make predictions, but you always have that one kid who goes ahead and looks at the back of the book and then “accidentally” gives wayyyy too much of an accurate prediction that makes a lot of your questions irrelevant. I like using Nearpod because you can show the image of the book and blackout what you don’t want the students to see just yet.
See how I blacked out the text? I want the students to only focus on the title and illustration and make predictions using only those clues before getting any more information. This forces them to dig deeper and really look at the cover for clues. You’ll be surprised at how much more successful your pre-reading stage is when you do this!
You can also include an interactive response where students can type something, I love using this feature for chapter checkpoints. This is a great way to monitor comprehension and prompt class discussions. You simply add an “open-ended question” slide and it will give the students the ability to answer a question.
After we do all of our pre-reading strategies, it’s time to actually begin the novel! I like to use Nearpod to guide the kids’ thinking using different types of questions both before, during, and after reading a chapter or section. I feel like this gives a purpose to the reading and also holds them accountable for what we’re reading. It also provides the teacher with the opportunity to monitor comprehension and correct any misconceptions about a character’s actions or other details from the text.
You can also add an interactive drawing feature that I really like!
There are so many different ways to use Nearpod for your novel studies! It makes checking comprehension so easy and it’s just a great way to keep your students engaged and on task. I cannot say enough good things about this presentation tool. Be sure and check out the store on the site. It’s filled with SO MANY amazing presentations already created and ready to use! You can also use this site with your school and share presentations with your coworkers. The possibilities are endless!
Ready to try it out for yourself?
Leslie Ann is the teacher-author behind Life in Fifth Grade. She’s also a 5th grade ELA teacher who loves sharing the joy of reading with her students. She is passionate about making learning fun and exciting for kids!