Books for Teaching Novel Studies
- Grades: 6–8, 9–12
From Unit Plan: Laurence Yep's Dragonwings
All the books in this list could be used to teach any novel study, including Dragonwings.
Action Strategies for Deepening Comprehension by Jeffrey Wilhelm
These strategies help students implement a structure to the reading process in order to make the reading experience a less intimidating one.
Classroom Tip: I have read this book, and I recommend it to any teacher struggling with students who don’t know how to attack text in an academic way. I especially enjoy the suggestions for exploring points of view with any text.
Awesome Hands-on Activities for Teaching Literary Elements by Susan Van Zile
This book includes 30 hands-on lessons for exploring literary elements.
Classroom Tip: Isolating a skill during an integrated unit is an important focus for struggling students. Use these tricks to help students who are pulled into small groups for focus activities to view these opportunities as a reward instead of a punishment. I always have students asking to do more activities like Paper-Chain Characters and Plot Mini-Books with other units as well to extend learning. These activities are great!
The Big Book of Reproducible Graphic Organizers by Dottie Raymer and Jennifer Jacobson
Help students soar in Reading, Writing, Social Studies, Science, Math, and more with this giant collection of fun, easy-to-use graphic organizers.
Classroom Tip: Assist your visual learners by providing a template where each can organize information during the learning process. This book has graphic organizers for every occasion and content area. It’s a must-have!
Dragonwings by Laurence Yep
This novel is the core of the example unit as Laurence Yep takes us on a Californian adventure through the eyes of a Chinese boy.
Classroom Tip: I chose this novel because of its strong characters and the conflicts each must overcome. Not only does the text lend an opportunity to discuss prejudice and family strife, but it also explores the theme that all humans must help each other. I have even had students relate the text to contemporary disasters like 9-11 and the Asian Tsunami as we read about the San Francisco earthquake of 1906. This book is a great read!
High-Interest Literature Units: Survival by Susan Van Zile and Joan Van Kanavy
Are you thinking of using literature circles and teaching novels around a theme? This great book is centered around popular novels and includes many motivating activities.
Classroom Tip: Students at our school are required to choose books to read outside the classroom each quarter. I encourage students to choose books on a particular theme throughout the year in order to provide enrichment activities for those who have read the same books. As this is used as a reward in my classroom management plan, it really encourages students to read.
Reading Response Trifolds for 40 Favorite Novels by Jennifer Cerra-Johansson
Trifolds are brochures where students can write descriptively and analytically about a novel. This book includes many popular choices like Holes and The Giver.
Classroom Tip: I use this book by copying the trifolds for students to complete in order to review elements of a novel to prepare for a unit test.