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Novel Engagement: A Wrinkle in Time

Create an uncommon learning experience and memorable moments with your students as you delve into the novel, A Wrinkle in Time.  Madeleine L'Engle's award winning book will come to life on-screen this year, so now is the perfect time to make it come alive in your classroom!  These hands-on activities are sure to engage your students in the learning process.
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1. The Mrs. Whatsit costume

The day you start the novel, walk into your classroom fully dressed as Mrs. Whatsit.  Bundle yourself up in multiple scarves, a large overcoat and black rubber boots.  Since I'm guessing that's not how you normally dress, your students will be so surprised, they'll be ready to dive right into this book!

2. Design the planets

Bring the arts into the novel by having students create visual forms of the planets in the novel, A Wrinkle in Time.  They could use paper mache, drawings, 3-D art...the possibilities are endless!  You could have each student decide the materials that they would like to use to really get creative, or you could do a whole class project, in which everyone uses the same type of product (but is still unique).

3. A Wrinkle Meal

Eat your way through the novel!  Throughout the book, the characters enjoy a variety of foods that could easily be brought into the classroom.  While reading the book one day, provide students with hot chocolate, jam sandwiches, cucumber slices, and liverwurst sandwiches.
**Always check for allergies before bringing food into the classroom**

Want to get really adventurous?  Try this.  Aunt Beast feeds Meg delicious foods, however Meg can't see it because it is dark.  Have students try foods with their eyes closed and see if they can figure out what they are!

4. Journey through the galaxy

Get all students up and moving with this activity!  Assign each student to be a planet, character or significant object from the novel (depending on the size of your class, multiple students might need to be used to create each planet).  

Have your "planets" position themselves around the room.  Then have the "objects" locate themselves on the correct planet.  Finally, have your "characters" move or even act out the events of the novel by traveling to each planet and interacting with the objects.  Have students work together to set up the galaxy and make sure the characters move in the correct directions.

5.  What is IT?

Using a jello mold (I got this one from Amazon for about $7), create a simple model of a brain.  Before getting to chapter 9, place the brain on display at the front of your classroom.  Spark some curiosity by not saying a word about it.  Just leave it there.  Once you finish the chapter, your students will get a kick out of this gooey representation of IT!  

6. Leave them in the dark

Just like the creatures of planet Ixchel are in the dark, have your students try to guess objects while not being able to use light.  Put them in pairs and provide a bag of everyday objects.  Have one student blindfold themselves.  Their partner then chooses an object to describe and see if their partner can guess it correctly.

7. Did somebody say tesser?

Provide your students with a variety of supplies, such as straws, marshmallows, gumdrops, toothpicks or yarn.  Have them design a tesseract.  You'll be able to see how well they understand the concept and they'll have fun creating them!

8. Research space travel

Have your students research the advancements in space travel since 1962 (when the book was written).  How far have we come?  What do scientists predict for the future?  How do you think space travel in the 1960s affected L'Engle's writing?  How might A Wrinkle in Time be written differently today?

9. A Galaxy Transformation

Before you introduce A Wrinkle in Time to your students, re-create your classroom environment.  Turn it into a galaxy!  Use black tablecloths on the walls and to cover the windows (make it dark!).  Add Christmas lights.  Hang glow-in-the-dark stars on the walls and from the ceiling.  If the students create their own planets (see #2), add these to your galaxy.  Even give students flashlights to read their novel!

10. Watch the movie!

The movie version of A Wrinkle in Time, came out on March 9, 2018.  If you are able, view the movie with your students.  Discuss the similarities and differences between the film and the novel. Here's a free set of activities for your students to easily compare the two!

Grab A Wrinkle in Time novel study before you begin reading with your class.  By getting your students engaged in this novel, it will be one that they won't soon forget!

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