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[in Ideas Plus, Book 18. 2000. Urbana, IL: National Council of Teachers of English, p. 35.]

Post-Reading Response Activities

Here's a list of response activities I use with my students after we read a novel. These are general enough that they can help students think more deeply and make connections with the themes and characters in just about any work of fiction. The activities serve as good jumping-off points for more lengthy writing assignments.

  1. After reading the novel, which of the following best describes how you feel: angry, awed, amazed, baffled, disgusted, disturbed, dissatisfied, irritated, joyous, uneasy, untouched, sad? Elaborate on your answer.

  2. Complete any four of the following statements with a minimum of three additional sentences each, reacting to what you have read.

    • If I were in this story, I would/wouldn't have...
    • I really admire the character of __________ because...
    • I realized...
    • I can't really understand...
    • I did/didn't like the way...
    • The character of _________ reminds me of myself when...
    • I know the feeling of ...
    • I began to think of...
    • The biggest thing that the character of ________ learned in this story was...
    • The most important lesson that I, the reader, learned in this story was...


  3. Which of the following descriptive terms makes you think of one of the characters in the story or novel we just read: lonely, angry, helpless, uncaring, helpful, wise, responsible, unselfish? Describe the character and explain why you think this character feels or personifies this emotion.

Dodie Zolman
Grandville High School
Grandville, Michigan

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