Sunday, May 06, 2007

Previewing HUGO CABRET

The class was VERY excited when I pulled out THE INVENTION OF HUGO CABRET. The whole idea of it intrigued them as it did me when I first saw it. They can't wait to start on Monday. Friday, we previewed. Before each read aloud, we preview by reading the back, the blurb, the first page, the author flap, etc. Then we think about the kinds of things we might think about as we read the book. We just brainstorm all of the things that might be worth holding on to as we read-things that will be important in the books. Kids keep reading notebooks--nothing that I check or is graded but a place of them to jot down thinking during read aloud--thinking that they can go back to to comprehend the text more deeply. It is a tool that works for lots of them because it is totally up to them on how they use it.

So Friday, after our preview, we charted all of the things kids planned to think about as we read. Here are the questions/thoughts they had before we started--ways they will be using their notebooks.

What's the invention?
What do the pictures tell us beyond the words?
How does the invention change his life?
How does the drawing connect to the invention?
Mark important pictures
2 columns to keep track of predictions and reasons I predict.
Characteristics about Hugo
Words author uses to describe Hugo
How does the mysterious drawing affect anyone?
He has a lot of secrets--what are they?
How does Hugo change?
What are the other characters like?
His father's secret notebook--why is it important?
Why the setting--why did the author choose it?
Discoveries and Secrets
Why is he stealing? Does he have a good reason?

Hopefully the books will be in before read aloud time tomorrow! I'll keep you posted. This should definitely be an adventure:-)


  1. I can't wait to read this book! One of the students in a 4th grade classroom that I work in just finished it and is letting me borrow it tomorrow. Please keep us updated on how it works as a read aloud.
    In my school district, the students also have readers notebooks and the teachers always struggle with how to use it as an evaluation tool...they don't know if they should grade them to hold the students accountable for their work. As a teacher, I used to collect them and give them feedback on how they are using the notebook as a tool and strategies they are using. So do you give them any feedback? I noticed you said you don't collect them. Just curious and always love to learn how other teachers are using the notebooks. Thanks!

  2. Anonymous8:21 PM

    Hi Mel,
    No, I don't grade the notebooks but I periodically ask them to reflect on their use of notebooks and then use those as a grade if I need one. For example, I might ask them to find a page in their notebook where their writing really helped them understand the book in a new way. I guess I try to assess how they are using the notebook as a tool rather than assess them to be accountable to doing it for me if that make sense. Grading is so tricky!

  3. Anonymous12:51 PM

    The Invention of Hugo Cabret is a beautiful book. The details in the pictures have me constantly revisiting the story. Each time I find something new. I am deciding if it will replace Harry Potter as my favorite. I am excited to read your suggestions for using it as a read aloud.


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