Reading a novel together as a class is essential in the third grade and up classrooms. Students need to learn how to analyze and walk through an entire book. Plus, it is super engaging to them too! I am going to share with you exactly how I walk through a whole class novel study, step by step.
How I Plan a Novel Study
The first day of a novel study I always try to just introduce the novel for the kiddos.
So, we do things like watch the book commercial (you can almost always find one on YouTube), do a book walk, and make predictions.
I will typically read the first chapter out loud to them to really kick off the novel!
I might also read a short picture book that relates to the novel too if needed!
Reading Style Switch
Each day or chapter I switch the way the kids read. So, they might read alone for one chapter and then the next I read it to the class.
Different ways they read include…
- reading silently
- reading with a partner
- in a small group
- me reading to the class
- students taking turns reading to the class
Each day we read one or two chapters and then they will do some type of activity. These activities always make them focus on a reading skill that relates to the chapters that we read!
For example, one day we will read chapter one out loud and they will read chapter two with a partner. Then, they will draw the setting of the novel and analyze the first characters introduced.
Quiz Every Four or So Chapters
I like to make sure that kids are understanding and they know how to analyze text. I like to do a quick quiz once every four or so chapters (depending on the chapter length).
During a novel study I typically will do 3 quizzes on chapters they read.
Projects Two Times Throughout
My kids LOVE doing projects and assignments to show what they are reading. Instead of just doing an end project I like to break up reading days with a project.
So, I might read and do the activities above Monday-Thursday and then they do a project on Friday.
Projects can include things like making a presentation, creating a Kahoot, making a mural, etc.
End of Book Project and Test
When we are finishing reading the book my kiddos will take the final test and then they do their final big project to show off the whole novel!
My kids favorites for this is always creating a board game with questions from the novel, writing a play to show what the novel was about, etc.
What books to you read?
I try to do 2-3 books a year! If I have a high group I may do a few more! 🙂
My go-tos are …
- Lemonade War- I love to pair this with my economics standards!
- Stone Fox- We love to do this novel in the winter months! You can talk about the Iditarod to go with it, which is fun!
- Shiloh- This is just a classic. My kids LOVE it every single year I do it!
- The BFG- I am a big fan of Ronald Dahl and this is a perfect introduction into the author! Plus, now they have a movie (hello, movie day)!
- Because of Winn-Dixie- this is a perfect novel study if you have a lower group of students because it is an easy read and can help you feel successful.
How long does one novel take you?
I try to do a novel in two weeks! If I have to go longer, I do!
What skills are you practicing?
ALL! I typically try to practice each reading standard throughout a novel study.
What about your lower level students?
I give them lots of support!
For example, during the times they have to read alone they may read with me. Or I will have them read alone and then reread it with me.
I also might pull up a read aloud version on Youtube or EPIC to help them reread something they read, etc.