Doing a novel study takes a lot of planning. It’s a big investment of a teacher’s time! Beginning with plenty of good materials to choose from is one way to make the process run more quickly and smoothly.
As I’ve been creating novel studies, I’ve also made a free teaching resource for each one. Each one is different as you can see below.
Here are a few of these activities, but you can see all of them in the novel study section of my Teachers Pay Teachers store. Each one is free to download there.
Number the Stars
My free resource for Lois Lowry’s classic World War II novel, Number the Stars, is a plot map activity. On one page there is the plot map, and on the second page there are the plot events ready for students to cut and paste in the correct order on the graphic organizer. The answer key shown here will show you the finished product.
Because of Winn-Dixie
This fun activity for Kate DiCamillo’s novel, Because of Winn-Dixie, provides pictures of items from the story and asks students to write entries that Opal might have written about each one. Here you can see one of the pages.
Bud, Not Buddy
My freebie for Bud, Not Buddy, the middle grades novel by Christopher Paul Curtis, includes a graphic organizer activity and two writing prompts based on the history of the time. The graphic organizer is a storyboard for students to fill in with their ideas about life in a Hooverville. Here are the writing prompts.
Here is a list of the others that I have posted, also in the novel study section of my store, so far.
- The Cay – characterization activity
- CRASH – yearbook activity
- Schooled – figurative language activity
- Pictures of Hollis Woods – scrapbook activity
- Walk Two Moons – activity about writings from the story
- A Wrinkle in Time – activity based on quotes from Mrs. Who
- Stepping on the Cracks – making inferences activity
- Journey – drawing activity about photos from the story
- Wringer – research and write activity
- The Van Gogh Café – menu activity
I haven’t decided for sure which novel I’ll work on yet. I like to pick classic novels, or ones that seem to have the potential of being a long-term favorite. If you have any suggestions for favorite classroom novels, I’d love to hear them!
Ideas for More Activities
I’ve also written blog posts about each of these novels individually – in fact, two posts about most of them! You’ll find more activities and teaching ideas there. You can find all of these posts in the Reading Skills section of this blog. Just use the button on the left; you may need to scroll down a bit to find the one you’re looking for.
Here is one example, a post full of class discussion questions about A Wrinkle in Time.
A full novel study for each of these novels, for middle school or upper elementary students, is posted in my store as well. Each one includes chapter questions, before and after reading activities, and activities based on facts and details from the novel, novel vocabulary, and inferences using text based evidence. A fun card game to review each novel is also included. Here are links to a few of them.