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What's in a Novel Unit Teacher Guide?

Novel Units help students learn through variety and by providing background and context about a book. Each Novel Unit also contains vocabulary overviews, character descriptions, and chapter-by-chapter activities designed to keep students involved as they read. Post-reading questions, assessments, and scoring rubrics allow teachers to determine the successes of each student.

Sample pages from Novel Unit Teacher Guides

Freedom Train »
James and the Giant Peach »
Fahrenheit 451 »

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Novel Unit Sections

Novel Units contain a number of different sections, which sometimes differ depending on the title and grade level. Below is a detailed breakdown of each Novel Unit section.

Summary - Each Novel Unit begins with a short paragraph summary of the story. This summary, though brief, provides the main points in order for teachers to be aware of what the story is about. In Novel Units for grades 7+ important elements of the book are listed before this summary, such as the genre, point of view, setting, and themes.

About the Author - Following the summary is another short paragraph about the author. By presenting this information, teachers are able to provide some contextual information to students as well as learn about other titles by the author.

Characters - In Novel Units for grades 7+ a list of primary characters follows the summary and author information. This list of characters provides names, short descriptions, and each character’s role in the book.

Initiating Activities - After providing teachers with key information about the book and author, Novel Units then provide a variety of introductory activities for teachers to use in order to prepare students for reading. Along with these activities are sometimes webs, charts, maps, or diagrams to help students begin their reading.

Vocabulary Activities - Once students have begun to think about the book, it is then time to make sure students are aware of the vocabulary they will encounter. In order to help students better understand the language in the book, Novel Units provide some vocabulary activities. The different exercises allow students to gain knowledge of definitions, synonyms, and how to use words, while having fun doing so.

Sections or Chapters - Novel Units are divided by the book’s chapters, or sometimes into sections grouping several chapters together at a time. Each chapter or section contains vocabulary words, discussion questions, and supplementary activities. The vocabulary words provided also have the page number of where they can be found in the book, allowing students to read for the meaning. Following the vocabulary overview are discussion questions accompanied by answers. However, teachers can expand on these answers to start further class discussions. After discussing the chapters, teachers can carry over their lesson in other subjects with the supplementary activities provided. These activities allow teachers to use the book not only in a language arts class, but in other areas that might not have been explored.

Post-reading Discussion - Toward the end of each Novel Unit are post-reading discussion questions. These questions allow teachers to review the book as well as try to make connections between the book and others. These post-reading questions also provide great insight for teachers by asking students for their opinions, as well as make students think about the book and things they might not have thought about while reading.

Post-reading Extension Activities - After discussing the book and getting students thinking about what they have read, each Novel Unit provides post-reading activities. These activities allow students to express their thoughts in writings, art projects, and other areas. With a variety of different activities to choose from, students will be able to express their creativity and understanding of everything discussed in order for teachers to gauge reading comprehension.

Assessment - Each Novel Unit also provides a list of assessments for the accompanying book. Since assessment is an ongoing process, all of the assessments provided can be completed during or after the study of the book in order to indicate students’ level of understanding throughout the reading.

Scoring Rubric - In some Novel Units for grades 7+ a scoring rubric is provided for teachers to use for any open-ended items. This rubric will insure a standard by which all students can be graded.


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