One thing I’ve noticed from teaching Into the Wild is that if I can keep my students on track with the complicated plot, then they absolutely LOVE this nonfiction novel. However, if they get lost in the flashbacks and changing settings, then I’ve lost them forever. To ensure that all students are able to keep up with and connect to this beautiful story, I have designed a notebook that will keep ALL of their novel notes, reflections, and evidence in one nicely organized location. Trust me, this thing will make your Into the Wild unit so much easier!
How to use a notebook with your Into the Wild Unit
Help students stay organized when teaching Into the Wild
I designed this Into the Wild booklet to help students stay organized. At each stop during the book, students are prompted to create a summary of that chapter by designing an “adventure merit badge” to represent what Chris learned, did, or earned at this location. Not only is this a fun way to summarize each chapter, but it also helps students collect evidence along the way in an organized format!
Help students track themes in Into the Wild
When it comes to addressing this Common Core standard, ” Determine two or more themes or central ideas of a text and analyze their development over the course of the text, including how they interact and build on one another to produce a complex account; provide an objective summary of the text,” using an organizer like this Into the Wild Booklet is so helpful! In this example pictured above, students reflect on their own sense of adventure and individuality and then track those themes throughout Into the Wild.
Help students focus during your Into the Wild unit
Reading comprehension and engagement increases when students know how to focus their reading. Each of the “merit badge” prompts in this Into the Wild booklet follows the same format for each stop in the book, so students know what themes to look for each time which helps them focus on the important elements of each chapter.
pause and reflect during your Into the Wild unit
I always like to build in breaks during long periods of whole class reading. When attention spans and reading stamina are low, this is essential and helps striving readers learn this important comprehension skill. Throughout this Into the Wild booklet, I have provided lots of fun reflection prompts that helps students connect the text to self, world, and other texts.
Help students review for post reading tasks
After students complete their Into the Wild booklet, they have a notebook full of quotes, reflections, and themes that they can review when they complete their post-reading tasks such as an essay, project, or test.
While I think there’s something to be said for having the paper notebook handy while reading Into the Wild, I know that some schools limit or ban paper use. There are also some accommodations that require digital options. For these reasons, I also include a digital version of the notebook in this Into the Wild teaching unit.
I hope that this post has convinced you that both studying and teaching Into the Wild can be made easier for everyone with the help of a notebook!
If you want more Into the Wild inspiration, keep reading here: Meaningful & Fun Activities for Teaching Into the Wild