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Whole Novels for the Whole Class: A Student-Centered Approach

ISBN: 978-1-118-52650-7
368 pages
October 2013, Jossey-Bass
US $24.95 Add to Cart

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Education, Jossey-Bass


October 22, 2013
San Francisco, CA

Whole Novels for the Whole Class: A Student-Centered Approach

WHOLE NOVELS FOR THE WHOLE CLASS is a student-centered literature program that promotes critical thinking and literary understanding through the study of novels with middle school students. Rather than using novels simply to teach basic literacy skills and comprehension strategies, WHOLE NOVELS FOR THE WHOLE CLASS approaches literature as art. 

WHOLE NOVELS FOR THE WHOLE CLASS: A Student-Centered Approach (Jossey-Bass, a Wiley brand; October 2013; $24.95; Paper; ISBN: 978-1-118-52650-7) by Ariel Sacks harnesses the natural love and curiosity children have for stories by building on the idea that students must first read and experience a work of literature wholly and authentically. After reading the entire work—with layers of support from teachers and classmates—students begin the process of analyzing the work and their reactions to it through student-driven, seminar style discussions. In multiple rounds of these discussions, students construct deeper levels of understanding and analysis of the text and willingly investigate the decisions the author has made in creating it. 

WHOLE NOVELS FOR THE WHOLE CLASS is fully aligned with the Common Core ELA Standards. It also offers tips for implementing whole novels in various contexts, including suggestions for teachers interested in trying out small steps in their classrooms first. Sacks provides concrete advice on how to communicate with school leaders to get support for the method, as well as ways to use whole novels in conjunction with other programs.