Avoid the mental slog that sometimes arrives in the middle of a novel unit with unexpected and, dare I say, fun activities that will keep your students reading, thinking, and writing. I use occasional evergreen activities that were created to work with any novel and rotate them into the curriculum whenever students’ enthusiasm starts to wane during a mid-novel grind.
Another student favorite is this cell phone characterization activity. I ask students to pretend they’ve found an iPhone that belongs to one of the characters we’ve met in the past few chapters. Then, they have to fill in wallpaper, email correspondence, and playlist information, which helps them peel back the layers of characterization. I’ve used this with The Odyssey, To Kill a Mockingbird, and Catcher in the Rye. Really, though, it works with every novel.