Last term and this term we have been reading the novel The Pinballs by Betsy Byars. We also watched the movie which is very closely aligned to the novel. Some students even read chapters to the class and did a fantastic job.The book focuses on the three foster children, their physical and emotional challenges and how they overcome their problems. It has themes are perseverance, love and depression. It looks closely at the relationship between these three quite different characters and how they come to understand and help each other. Students have been utilising both library lessons and class sessions to explore this novel. They have been given a rubric so they know clearly what the expectations for this unit are. They are currently working on answering some questions which will help them unpack some of the major themes in the novel. Then they will choose three of the following activities to complete. All the materials needed are available in the classroom.
The Pinballs Activities
1. Write a letter pretending you are one of the main characters, describing the foster home and the other foster children.
2. Prepare a comic strip version of one of the chapters or one of the significant events in the novel.
3. Write another chapter for the book.
4. Design a new jacket for the book. Remember to include a blurb on the back. You could get some ideas by looking at the various versions that have been published.
5. Harvey makes lit of things that have happened to him to try to come to terms with his life. Make some lists of your own.
6. The children talk about having fifteen minutes of fame. Write about what you would like to happen if you had fifteen minutes of fame.
7. Write a poem with each line beginning "I remember when..." OR "I would like to forget..." You may like to alternate these lines.
8. Make a PhotoStory or PowerPoint presentation promoting the book. (Students were shown four examples of book promotions this morning in class.)