Franki Sibberson has written in the past about her students having notebooks to write/draw in while she reads aloud to them. I tried it out last year and was thrilled with it. I waited until the middle of the year to try it, as beginning-of-the-year third graders are still growing in their reading/writing/listening skills.
I read The Way to Stay in Destiny by Augusta Scattergood (as we were going to Skype with her afterward) and the students each had their own notebook. I spent a few minutes modeling for them how I might use a notebook while listening to someone read, showing some quick writing and drawing ideas. But I really wasn’t sure how it would go (which is exactly how I felt last year). I also thought this book would be a bit challenging for my students as it’s set in the early 1970s in Florida, with a lot of places, events, and ideas for which they do not have much background knowledge.
They loved the book (and loved the chance to talk with Augusta Scattergood) and their notes were fascinating. Some students drew pictures of things happening in the book. Others made some notes to themselves about things that surprised them, confused them, or brought out strong emotions in them.
Augusta Scattergood also wrote about this and our Skype call.