Challenge and Response with the Lightning Thief

We have been working our way through the first several chapters of The Lightning Thief as we brave our cold winter weather.  Today I wanted to share with you the Challenge/Response work that we've been doing as we learn more about Percy Jackson.  I have been asking my students to cold read chapters.  Basically this just means to read the assigned chapter for homework before I talk to them about it.  I think this is important because they need to practice the stamina of reading lengthy passages on their own.  I feel like sometimes we spend so much time prepping with vocabulary and background knowledge that our students don't really have to read the chapter or passage or story to get the "gist" of it.  Even my low readers have figured out how to slack off on a chapter and get away with it.  Just being honest friends, you know they do it.  One way that helps guarantee the cold read is to have students use post it notes and tag specific information.  For the first few chapters of our novel, we looked at Challenges and Responses of Percy.
At first, I did this assignment with my students, modeling what I was looking for.
I talked to my students about looking at Chapter 1 and finding a Challenge that Percy had to face.  Then we had to look critically for the Response that Percy had to the Challenge.  Finally, I wrote what I could infer about Percy's character.  
Next, I had my students go through the chapter in their triad groups and model the same behavior.  They wrote the Challenge/Response on index cards and then shared the inferences with discussion.  My students continue this technique when they read and we add to the charts in our room about Percy's character.  This helped us as we started to look at the archetype story of The Hero's Journey.  I'll blog about that soon.  My students did a fabulous job looking at this story structure! 

How do you insure that your students do your "cold read?"  Do you teach the Hero's Journey?  I would love to hear how you use it in your classroom!

Don't forget.. There is still another day to pick up this awesome Tricky Math bundle from Educents.
There is also a huge TpT sale starting tomorrow!  My store in on sale.   I'm getting ready to use my Salt in His Shoes activity as I begin my biography writing unit.
It's a great way to introduce biographies and how we can pull character traits for writing from picture books.  I'm also using the inspirational quotes to reinforce our character ed curriculum and as a way to create leads when we write.


  1. I'm really enjoying all of the things you are doing with the Lightning Thief with your kids. I just pinned your pic up on the Literacy board on Teachers of Pinterest. xo
    Rockin' and Lovin' Learnin'

  2. I love the idea for having students do a "cold read" of the chapters before you read them in class. I also really like the conflict sticky note activity.....really seems to get the kids responding to what they are reading! Thanks for sharing!

    Mind Sparks


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