Within the new National Curriculum for English, the opening sentence beneath the heading – Year 9 Achievement Standard – is:
“By the end of Year 9 students listen to, read and view a range of spoken, written and multimodal texts, recognising how events, situations and people can be represented from different perspectives, and identifying stated and implied meaning in texts.”
Book Drum (www.bookdrum.com) offers a great resource for teachers wanting additional information on many many novels, such as To kill a mockingbird, Pride and prejudice, The great Gatsby and many more. In addition, it is a wonderful way to teach ‘representation’ and contextualisation (particularly since much of what Book Drum calls a ‘profile’ offers snippets of background information on specific text within the book – via ‘bookmarks’). For good examples of this check out the profiles on Dava Sobel’s Longitude or Hemingway’s A moveable feast.
I’d also imagine that getting students to create a profile for a study novel (would work really well as a paired or small group collaboration) is an excellent opportunity to assess how well the student has engaged with the book. This could be done outside Book Drum via Blackboard or Moodle, or using Word or web design software.
Book Drum has been added via evaluation and quality assurance to the Learning Place‘s edusite. Check it out – it’s a wonderful resource.
PS – I selected a statement from the year 9 curriculum as a starting point; Book Drum has great relevance in subsequent Years. Witness the Year 10 statement: “By the end of Year 10 students listen to, read and view a range of spoken, written and multimodal texts, identifying and explaining values, attitudes and assumptions.”