You’ve planned all year long, put in late nights and weekends, and now are probably in the midst of test prep and testing. By this point of the year, we all need to cut ourselves some slack yet reengage our students to finish out the school year strong, and these comprehensive novel studies are perfect for that! They are 4-5 week units that are FULLY PLANNED FOR YOU! Yes, you read that right, they.are.planned.for.you! A full range of ELA standards are covered in each with engaging hands-on activities to set your students up for success and excitement for a summer full of reading.
Before we dive into each of my favorite Novel Studies to round out the school year, I want to prepare you with some of my best tips and advice to alleviate any sense of overwhelm you may have:
- You don’t need a copy for each student. One for you is all you need to get started (and I linked to each one for you!). You can make copies of sections that you want students to work on for text evidence, or if you are able, grab a set of 5 so students can use them for evidence in small group settings.
- Read the book aloud to your students, don’t have them read it on their own. These books are at their instructional level, not their independent level. Challenge them with the activities, not the reading!
- Use it as a mentor text. Refer back to the read aloud portion each day as a reference to something you are working on! For example: Teaching theme? What was the theme of the chapter you read?
- Use paired texts in small groups! Look at the genre, topic, characters, etc. and find nonfiction articles on NewsELA.com that match one of these to use in small groups!
- Keep the book with you, always! I don’t like to ever go beyond 5 weeks for a novel study – it loses its effectiveness. So, squeeze reading in whenever you can! Allot 15 minutes a day, but read any other free time that comes up! Random Friday assembly? Read in that 10 minute waiting time! Students crazy at pack up? Read to them while you wait to head home for the day!
This fantasy and adventure novel by Kate DiCamillo (who I just love as an author by the way!) is about a squirrel named Ulysses who develops intellectual powers after being sucked into a vacuum cleaner, and befriends Flora, helping her be courageous and be proud of who she is!
This is one of my 5 week units including activities and ELA standards such as: comic book activity, comparing points of view, a Donut Shop economics game, the SUPER Part of Me craftivity, and more!
Natalie Babbit’s fantasy novel, Tuck Everlasting is about a 15 year old Winnie Foster who runs away from her strict life into the forest one day and meets a boy named Jesse Tuck. Something is different about the Tuck family, though. If you had the choice, would you want to live forever?
This 5 week unit includes activities and ELA standards such as: author study activity, flashback vs. foreshadowing, WANTED poster craftivity, story sequencing craftivity, and more!
A Science Fiction novel by Madeleine L’Engle: Meg Murry, a high-school-aged girl, who is transported on an adventure through time and space with her younger brother, Charles Wallace, and her friend, Calvin O’Keefe, to rescue her father from evil forces on another planet.
Cover ELA standards like genre studies, integrated social studies unit about the Cold War, symbolism, travel journal activity, and more over this 5 week unit.
A dystopian fiction novel by Margaret Peterson Haddix follows a boy named Luke Gardner, a third child in a world where only two children are allowed per family. He lives his life as a shadow child, in hiding; will he ever see the world around him?
This unit can be covered in 4-5 weeks. It includes activities and ELA standards such as: characterization, types of government, research projects, reading comprehension questions, and more!
Okay, if you know me or follow me at all, then you very well know my absolute LOVE for Harry Potter, so of course I have a Novel Study about the first book!
You and your students will become captivated by J.K. Rowling’s fantasy novel that follows a boy who learns on his eleventh birthday that he is the orphaned son of two powerful wizards and possesses unique, magical powers of his own. Follow his journey to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, and the adventures and friendships within!
This is a long novel, but I recommend completing in a 5 week unit still. It includes activities and ELA standards such as: Golden Ball Launcher STEM Challenge, Greek Mythology, figurative language, potions informational comprehension activity, and more!