At one time, I tutored students in high school English. I started making notecards that had lists of key themes, symbols, and character traits. The students would use the notecard like a bookmark and have it with them while reading. The reminders on the card helped guide the students to mark useful quotes. Now that I am back in the classroom, I still make these notecard-bookmarks to help students focus their reading. They can be adapted for so many grade levels. Click Here to purchase Book Buddy templates.
Summer Reading: Many students read a book in June but can’t remember the book in August when it is time to go back to school. Fill out a generic card while reading and use the card for review right before returning to school.
Elementary Grades: For younger grades, have students note details about the beginning, middle, and end of a story. Students can also list character details and identify the big problem in the story. This is a great way to practice summarizing and keeping things short!
Upper Elementary Grades: As students begin to look for deeper meaning in a story, create a card with the key ideas you want to teach in the novel.
Middle and High School: At this point, you can provide space on the card for themes, symbols, archetypes and key quotes. Customize the card with any literary details you prefer.
** The cards can be printed with blank space, and the students fill out the information as they read. Or, depending on the needs of your students, you can create the cards with the key ideas provided.