Middle School English Reads Beyond the Text

As part of an assignment designed to encourage deeper understanding of literature, eighth grade students in Mrs. Daryl Smith's English class presented before their classmates on topics and themes from The Book Thief by Markus Zusak.
The Book Thief is a highly praised novel narrated by Death that tells the story of a German girl living with a foster couple in a small German town during the era of WWII.

The students presented what Mrs. Smith called "journal sketches," which were drawings of representative items from the novel. Mrs. Smith said, "the girls love this activity. I do this to encourage the girls to truly analyze the author's purpose."  To do complete the assignment successfully, the students must think about literary devices, such as personification, metaphors, and imagery. In doing this, Mrs. Smith says, "they are becoming better detectives" in metaphorical meaning of the text.

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Grier School

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