Over many years of doing reading with learners of all age groups, I must confess that the actual act of reading something--while itself often very enjoyable--pales in comparison to what happens when we use that reading, or follow up from it.
Project tasks, either on an ongoing basis while a reading text is being engaged with or as a series of follow ups after the whole story has been wound up, are brilliant for encouraging a deeper layer of analysis and comprehension as well as taking full advantage of opportunities to engage in creative and critical thinking.
Basically, I think reading expansion projects (when done right) rock, and without them stories and texts only really capture a fraction of their thinking and learning potential.
My personal preference is to let the whole story be experienced first, with some 'in the margin' discussions if it is being scaffolded or shared with other readers, and then apply a range of small project options which will encourage the learners to go back over the text, look at certain parts of it more carefully, and then extend it (often in application to their own lives) in creative new ways.
In a whole-class approach to using World Adventure Kids 2-1 (as outlined on the blog here), however, it could be an option to apply mini projects in an ongoing way as in class or at home extensions between one part of the adventure and the next.
So here are four initial expansion projects for the first sections of World Adventure Kids 2-1 (before the narrative gets too deeply into particular adventures), which could be used as part of a re-reading/re-thinking of the story or as a series of challenges while the story progresses.
1. Secret Names
Part of being a World Adventure Kid is having your own secret name.
A. What is your secret name and why did you choose it?
B. Look at other characters' secret names in the stories. Why do you think they chose those names?
Make a Secret Names File to help you remember World Adventure Kids' secret names and what they could mean!
2. The Next Secret Meeting Place
Golden Sky asks you to meet her in the tallest tree in the park near where you live.
But next time she wants to meet you in a different place. It needs to be secret, where you can meet and talk about new adventures in private.
A. Make a map of your neighborhood.
B. Choose and circle three secret places where you could meet Golden Sky secretly.
C. Send a message to Golden Sky and explain each meeting place to her (where it is and why you chose it).
3. Amazing Transportation Machines!
In World Adventure Kids 2-1, you get to travel in a Jump Jet or a Heliporter.
Apparently, these machines are completely quiet and produce no pollution.
How do you think these machines could work? How do they move so quickly? How do they stay so quiet? How do they avoid making pollution?
A. Draw a diagram of a Jump Jet or Heliporter.
B. Show how you think it works, drawing lines to different parts and explaining what they do.
4. Pilot Preparations
In World Adventure Kids 2-1, you meet and travel with two special pilots: Cumulus Swift from Malaysia (flying a Jump Jet) and Blue Stratus from Turkey (operating the Heliporter).
Would you like to be a World Adventure Kids pilot?
Well, there are many things to learn and do before you can become a pilot. Two of the most important are designing a secret place to hide your Jump Jet or Heliporter (called a hangar), and learning about all the different places in the world.
A. Design a secret hangar (in your house or somewhere close to where you live) for your transportation machine and send the design to World Adventure Kids. If it is a good design, they will send experts to build the hangar for you!
B. Make a list of the most important cities and places in the world. For each place, find out what country it is in and what makes that place special. (Look back at the stories and find the information Cumulus Swift and Blue Stratus have found out about the different places they fly to.)
Of course, this is just a small taster of possible expansion project ideas for just the initial parts of World Adventure Kids 2-1. You and your reader(s) can no doubt think of many more, and/or tweak the ideas presented here to help them better fit the interests of the reader. I think there are also exciting opportunities to integrate technology skills into many of the projects (for example, using Google Maps for projects 2 and 4, using something like Excel for projects 1 and 4, using visual design tools for projects 3 and 4, etc.).
I'll also be presenting other project ideas for World Adventure Kids here on the blog in future, so keep your screens (and adventure ideas) peeled!