The Book Whisperer

by frances 7. April 2009 09:41

I have just read a very interesting article about a teacher in Texas who is an expert in encouraging students to read.

She is known as the "Book Whisperer". In the Teacher Magazine, the article "Creating Readers" (parts I, II, III), Donalyn Miller explains how she gets students in her Year 6 class to read. It is well worth a good read yourself especially if you are a parent, grandparent or a teacher. She has some excellent tips and great lists of books for all students (after Year 2 students).  

Do any of you have any great reading lists for students from K - 2??? Would love to hear them!

Donalyn has a blog which I have added to our blog listing (right hand side).

It encouraged me to have a look for WebQuests on the books she mentioned. There were woefully few WebQuests! What a shame!

I think if we could have more real WebQuests (not reading comprehension or Scavenger Hunts, or Research Assignments) but real WebQuests where the students are given a messy problem to solve eg. creating a screenplay; or, a new ending to the book; we could incorporate it into the classroom. Although I would hate to have WebQuests regarded by teachers and students alike as tasks that could spoil their pleasure of reading a certain book. That's why it would have to build on the book! Making the book even more interesting and engaging!

Of course, another way to encapsulate this great article is to turn it into a WebQuest for teachers!!! Maybe that's what I should do for these holidays instead of the ANZAC Spirit WebQuest I have had on the back-burner for a number of years!!!

Here are some of the books Donalyn recommends in the article:

Tripping Over the Lunch Lady, edited by Nancy Mercado.

Sixth Grade Nickname Game by Gordon Korman

On the Run by Gordon Korman

Guts by Gary Paulsen

My Life in Dog Years by Gary Paulsen

How Angel Peterson Got His Name by Gary Paulsen

The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier

The Rag and Bone Shop by Robert Cormier

Bucking the Sarge by Christopher Paul Curtis

The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton

Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret by Judy Blume

The City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau

Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls

The Thief Lord by Cornelia Funke

Tangerine by Edward Bloor

Holes by Louis Sachar

The Schwa was Here by Neal Shusterman

The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan

The View from Saturday by E.L. Konigsburg

The House of the Scorpion by Nancy Farmer

The Boy Who Saved Baseball by John H. Ritter

Maniac Magee by Jerry Spinelli

The Giver by Lois Lowry

The Clique series by Lisi Harrison

Click Here by Denise Vega

Hatchet by Gary Paulsen

The Word Eater by Mary Amato

Stone Fox by John Reynolds Gardiner

The Tarantula in My Purse by Jean Craighead George

Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli

The Supernaturalist by Eoin Colfer

The Beasties by William Sleator

Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes by Chris Crutcher

The First Part Last by Angela Johnson

Seedfolks by Paul Fleischman

Nightjohn by Gary Paulsen

The following books have WebQuests that I know about:

The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton

Holes by Louis Sachar

The Giver by Lois Lowry

Hatchet by Gary Paulsen

The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier

I would love to hear about any other books on this list that have an associated WebQuest!

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Other WebQuest & Educational Blogs

As I come across other WebQuest Blogs (& Educational ones), I will list them here.

Jane Hart's Blog (Jane is a Social Technologies Guru in UK)

Scot Aldred's Blog (Colleague at Central Queensland University and guru on Problem-Based Learning (PBL)

The Innovative Educator

Digital Education Blog

Blogging Corner Carnival

eLearn Magazine Blog

Dr. Lisa Neal Gualtieri, Editor-in-Chief, eLearn Magazine

Primary Blog

Charlie Sullivan - Charlie does a fantastic job collating websites for Primary schools.

De Tools Blog

This blog by and for online educators and features free web based tools applications and resources. Author: John Goldsmith.

Bright Ideas: a blog by the School Library Association of Victoria

The Book Whisperer

This blog is written by Donalyn Miller, a 6th Grade teacher in Texas, who is reknown for encouraging students to read!


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