The fence told him exactly what his responsibility was and wasn’t. Peter often wished that responsibility had such bright tall fences around it off the ball field, too.
About This Book:
The Global Read Aloud: Connecting Students Around the World Through a Shared Text
Big Ideas & Essential Questions:
First Course: Building Background Knowledge Prior to Reading with a Multimedia Text Set
Pairing: Novel + Multimedia Text Set
Second Course: Exploring Setting
Pairing: Novel + Author Interview + Google Maps
There are no details in this story that give the reader any hints as to where or when the story takes place. There is a war going on, but again, no references to any specific conflict that has, or is happening in the world. In an interview the author talks about the purposeful vagueness of the setting.
She says, "Keeping everything about the war undefined—especially the setting and time—was critical to me. I didn’t want the reader to be able to say, 'Oh, this happened somewhere else,' or 'This couldn’t happen now,' because that would have allowed a sense of distance and comfort I didn’t want. I wanted the reader to be able to identify with Peter as though he lived nearby, right now. It was harder to do than I’d predicted, by the way—technology and geographical clues kept trying to insert themselves into the story!"
We thought this would be a great opportunity to integrate some cross-curricular connections. Students research places in the world where conflict is happening and add information to a shared Google map. Through the connections made with other classes participating in The Global Read Aloud, the possibilities for different student perspectives on global conflict can be a great learning experience for your students.
The audio clip of the interview is about seven minutes long and offers some great insights into the text. She doesn't talk about setting in the audio version, but I am including it because it is a great resource. Click on the button below to read the interview with the author in which she explains the lack of a defined setting.
Third Course: Exploring the Themes of the Collateral Damage Caused by Violent Conflicts
Pairing: Novel + Picture Books
Click on the buttons below to go to paired text lessons that explore the connections between each of these picture books and the novel "PAX". The lessons are in Google Docs. To use and/or edit them, please click on "file" > "make a copy" to add the documents to your Google drive.
The Novel Hyperdoc
The Novel Hyperdoc
This Novel Hyperdoc was created by a team of sixth grade teachers. Through shared Google documents, Google Drive Folders, Slides and group messages we were able to talk about ideas for teaching with this book and turn those ideas into digital lessons that we were able to share with others. We wanted to offer lots of choices, but this doesn’t mean you have to use all of them. Tailor the HyperDoc to fit the needs of your class. Make a second copy of the PAX Slide Deck. Keep one as a MASTER copy, while editing the second copy deleting assignments that you don’t think you will have time for. You might want to leave them in the slide deck for extension activities, homework, or extra credit-every classroom is different. The bottom line-there are more lessons than you could realistically expect to complete in the time frame that you will most likely be working with for a novel study. Choose activities and tasks that fit the needs of your students.
To see more curated resources for "PAX" that weren't used in the hyperdoc, join my Google Space for this novel. It is full of great multimedia resources, and when you join you can add to, or comment on these resource posts. If you are unfamiliar with Google Spaces, it is similar to a shared Pinterest board.
Pairing the Novel with a Personal Narrative Essay from The Global Oneness Project
Although it wasn't part of the completed hyperdoc lesson, I thought this essay about life on a farm from The Global Oneness Project was a great text to pair with the novel. It works well as a text to give students a deeper understanding of Vola's character and her philosophies about non-duality, or "two-but-not-two." The essay has a lesson plan that goes with it. If this is your first time hearing about The Global Oneness Project, I recommend bookmarking their page for the wealth of free resources that they provide.
The realization of the aliveness of the non-human is the crack in the paradigm.
Exploring Themes Through Quotes:
Throughout the novel hyperdoc there are tasks that involve the close analysis of key quotes from the text. These tasks also offer opportunities for students to connect with other classes around the world that are reading "Pax" for The Global Read Aloud. Students analyze these quotes and share their thinking on an online bulletin board called a Padlet.
Student Created Review Games:
I am an English teacher, Curriculum Designer, and Instructional Coach that is passionate about literature.
In each post I will offer a review of a young adult novel and suggestions for text pairings. These posts will often include links to digital resources for teaching the content referenced in the post, as well as digital lessons (I use Google Docs) which you can download for free. Subscribe to my blog so that you can get an email notification when a new book is highlighted.