Thursday, December 2, 2010

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules

Will Rodrick spill the beans and ruin Greg's reputation at school?

A new school year brings new opportunities for Greg in Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules. But, with his brother Rodrick knowing about a very embarrassing moment that happened over the summer, it is questionable whether or not Greg will be able to get past those summer months. Once again Jeff Kinney brings us a graphic novel with one of our favorite characters Greg Heffley. Filled with cartoon drawings and laugh out loud funny incidents we go for a journey through Greg's second year of middle school. Between a new vow of truth, learning how to play Magick and Monsters and many other events that unravel, we see the same unsure Greg we saw in Kinney's first of this series. A must read series!

Teachers: Here are some resources and ideas that will help you teach this graphic novel.

Web Resources:
  • Autobiographical Comics: This website discusses a classroom activity where students learn that comics are not just about superheroes. Comics can be about an every day person like a student. This discussion about comics would be great to have as a pre-reading activity. Making ones' own autobiographical comic would be a great post-reading activity.
  • Journal Prompts: This site has 30 different journal prompts students could use if they want to create a journal just like Greg.
Vocabulary: Overall, there are very few vocabulary words that students would have difficulty with but here are some words that may need to be pretaught: umpire, blanks (fired from a starting gun), fad, civil, safari, decoy, totem pole, liberating, allegory, mead, habitat, extinct, circulation, accomplice.

Before Reading: I would suggest having students read the first in the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series before reading Rodrick Rules. Have students in small groups make predictions about what they think will happen to Greg this year in school. Ask students to relate these predictions to what they remember from the first book in the series.

During Reading: Sometimes Greg makes decisions that hurt other people (and sometimes doesn't even realize it). As students read, ask them to pick 3-4 decisions Greg made that they would have made differently. Have students write 1-2 paragraphs about what they would have done differently.

After Reading:
  • Writing: Have students incorporate comics/drawings into their journals. Or, if students do not have journals that they write in regularly, incorporate journaling into class time.
  • Make a class venn diagram comparing and contrasting the first two books in the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series.

Kinney, J. (2008). Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules. New York: Amulet Books.

Happy Reading (&Running) =)

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