8th Grade Interactive Active Novel Study

Touching Spirit Bear by Ben Mikaelsen

The introduction assignment is designed to introduce the students to the classroom blog and provide an opportunity to create background knowledge for the novel study. Touching Spirit Bear starts out in Minneapolis and moves quickly to Alaska. The main characters is placed on an Island and must fend for himself in the elements of Alaska. Students were assigned a city in Alaska as a username. The introduction assignment provided the students with an opportunity to explore Alaska and learn more about the environment, weather, and setting. The images below walk through the first steps the eighth grade completed as they started the Toughing Spirit Bear Novel Study.

Before this individual assignment, The class looked over the classroom blog on the white board. The class reviewed “Welcome to Touching Spirit Bear Novel Study.”

8thgradeIntroductionpostingSTOP HERE – each student was given the introduction hand out. The whole reviewed the Touching Spirit Bear Novel Study Introduction to Kidblog and reviewed the sample  Posting Kodiak Posting.

Introduction Sheet

When introducing a new assignment and technology tool, it is important to provide visual examples and set expectations. Before the students logged into their accounts, they walked through the steps of the assignment together. Exploring cities in Alaska. Student volunteer read the Kodiak posting and the class checked the posting facts with the information at the Cities in Alaska website, AreaVibes. This whole group process set the expectations for independent student work.

Alaskan CitiesKodiak

This initial assignment provided the students with the opportunity to demonstrate their ability to use real world skills. The students researched cities in a manner that they may one-day research a place to live, go to college, or find a job.


Sample Student Response for Whole Class Lesson


Eighth Grade Student Examples



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