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Classics for Kids Book Club!


Literature Circle Book Club (The One & Only Ivan): What's Your Role?

In this 6-week course, students will practice literary analysis in an fun, interactive way with roles like the reporter, theme master, and connector to lead in-depth discussions of this powerful novel.
Alaina Bell Gao
363 total reviews for this teacher
1 review for this class
Completed by 2 learners
  There are no upcoming classes.
50 minutes
per class
Once per week
over 5 weeks
year olds
learners per class
per learner - per class

How does a "Multi-Day" course work?

Meets multiple times at scheduled times
Live video chats, recorded and monitored for safety and quality
Discussions via classroom forum and private messages with the teacher
Great for engaging projects and interacting with diverse classmates from other states and countries

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Class Experience

My classes are largely focused on higher thinking skills. By engaging with the novel actively, the students will focus on characterization, themes, the author's powerful choices (diction, sentence style, etc.), and practice using literary words like simile, metaphor, onomatopoeia, etc. They will develop critical thinking skills and presentation skills.

Ontario (Canadian) Curriculum:

1.4 demonstrate understanding of a variety of texts by summarizing important ideas and citing supporting details

1.5 make inferences about texts using stated and implied ideas from the texts as evidence

1.6 extend understanding of texts by connecting the ideas in them to their own knowledge, experience, and insights, to other familiar texts, and to the world around them

1.7 analyse texts and explain how specific elements in them contribute to meaning (e.g., narrative: characters, setting, main
idea, problem/challenge and resolution, plot development

1.8 express opinions about the ideas and information in texts and cite evidence from the text to support their opinions

2.3 communicate in a clear, coherent manner, presenting ideas, opinions, and information in a readily understandable form

2.4 identify various elements of style – including alliteration, descriptive adjectives and adverbs, and sentences of different types, lengths, and structures – and explain how they help communicate meaning (e.g., alliteration and rhythm can emphasize ideas or help convey a mood or sensory impression)

American Common Core Standards:

Refer to details and examples in a text when explaining what the text says explicitly and when drawing inferences from the text.

Determine a theme of a story, drama, or poem from details in the text; summarize the text.

Describe in depth a character, setting, or event in a story or drama, drawing on specific details in the text (e.g., a character's thoughts, words, or actions).

Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative language such as metaphors and similes.

Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 4 topics and texts, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly.

Come to discussions prepared, having read or studied required material; explicitly draw on that preparation and other information known about the topic to explore ideas under discussion.

Follow agreed-upon rules for discussions and carry out assigned roles.

Pose and respond to specific questions to clarify or follow up on information, and make comments that contribute to the discussion and link to the remarks of others.

Review the key ideas expressed and explain their own ideas and understanding in light of the discussion.

Report on a topic or text, tell a story, or recount an experience in an organized manner, using appropriate facts and relevant, descriptive details to support main ideas or themes; speak clearly at an understandable pace.
Prior to each class, each student MUST READ that week's chapters and PREPARE to lead part of the discussion. I will ask you to choose a role after you sign up. Join early to get your pick of the roles!


Word Master
Theme Tracker

The students will use our class site to share guiding notes, quotations, or passages to help them guide the discussion, but they can also prepare a small PowerPoint presentation to share each week (optional). LibreOffice is free and has a great Presentation program. The students can upload their presentation files to the class site or have them open on their screens for screen-sharing. (Tip: I recommend saving files as PDFs so the slides will look the same when they are opened on other computers.)

Lesson 1: Read chapters 1 to 25
Lesson 2: Read chapters 26 to 50
Lesson 3: Read chapters 51 to 76
Lesson 4: Read chapters 77 to 101
Lesson 5: Read chapters 102 to 127
Lesson 6: Read chapters 128 to 153

*Be careful not to include any information from the later chapters! No spoilers, please! Some students will be reading this novel for the very first time!
Learners must have their own copy of The One and Only Ivan (book or digital). The students will also use our class site to share guiding notes, quotations, or passages to help them guide the discussion, but they can also prepare a small PowerPoint presentation to share each week (optional). LibreOffice is free and has a great Presentation program (optional). We may also use Google Slides.
Learners will not need to use any apps or websites beyond the standard Outschool tools.
50 minutes per week in class, and an estimated 2 - 4 hours per week outside of class.
This book deals with the mistreatment of animals. Ivan remembers humans killing his family and chopping off their heads, hands, and feet.


Alaina Bell Gao
Lives in Canada
Let's explore the world through literature, art, and social studies!
363 total reviews
175 completed classes

About Me

Hi! My name is Alaina Bell Gao, and I am an experienced Canadian English teacher with 15+ years of professional teaching experience. As a dedicated, creative, gentle, and patient neurodivergent teacher, many neurodiverse learners thrive in my... 
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