9 Online Novel Studies to Encourage Deeper Thinking

Whether your child is reading a book for pleasure or as part of a school assignment, there are many pre-made novel studies available for use on the internet. Novel studies deepen the understanding of text, and they often consist of chapter-by-chapter comprehension skills. Innovative novel studies use an arts-integration approach, allowing students to express their knowledge and understanding through their artistic mediums of choice.

Almost all common classroom novels have corresponding novel studies readily found online. Here are a number of links to websites offering ready-made novel studies for a wide range of reading levels:

Lower Elementary

1. The Magic Treehouse series by Mary Pope Osborne is a great adventure series for younger readers. Titles such as Mummies in the Morning and Day of the Dragon focus on ancient civilizations, while other books in the series focus on nature and science. This website offers “Literature Circle” ideas for a number of The Magic Treehouse book, assigning roles such as the “Word Wizard”, requiring students to complete vocabulary tasks related to specific chapters.

2. The website called Rise to Reading offers comprehension questions on many of The Magic Treehouse books: The same website also offers comprehension questions on the following book series: Bailey School Kids, Nancy Drew and the Clue, and The Tiara Club.

Upper Elementary

3. The beloved children’s author Judy Blume introduced the bratty but likeable character Fudge in Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing. Rise to Reading offers chapter-by-chapter comprehension questions.

4. The classic children’s book Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl is loved by millions of children. Edgalaxy.com links many novel study ideas to the Multiple Intelligences, such as verbal and kinesthetic.

5. The Breadwinner by Deborah Ellis is a moving story about a girl disguised as a boy trying to survive the Taliban reign in Afghanistan. Scholastic.ca has developed a literature circle for the novel.

Junior High

6. The Giver, by Lois Lowry, is a science fiction novel about a dystopian society. Teacherpayteachers.com provides journal questions to provoke thought and discussion.

7. Holes, by Louis Sachar, is about a boy condemned to dig holes at a summer juvenile detention camp as punishment for a crime he didn’t commit. A teacher guide to this popular classroom novel can be found at scholastic.com.

High School

8. Many high school novels are classic works of literature that have stood the test of time. One favourite is The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, about excess and unfulfilled lives of the nouveau riche in 1920s America. Huffenglish.com’s novel study guides students through a deeper understanding of plot, characters, and symbols throughout the novel.

9. And of course there is the more contemporary Twilight series by Stephenie Meyer, telling the story of Bella Swan and the vampire she falls in love with. In “Interdisciplinary Approaches to Twilight: Studies in Fiction, Media and a Contemporary Cultural Experience,” Mariah Larsson and Anne Steiner delve into deeper connection to broader social themes within the series, possibly some food for thought for a teen wholly absorbed in this series.

Outside the classroom, novel studies at home can be used to challenge avid an reader’s thinking, extend and enrich a current reading program, or simply provide parents with some relevant and deep questions to ask their children. Happy reading!

For more information on novel study ideas, contact Ruth Rumack’s Learning Space at 416.925.1225, or visit http://www.ruthrumack.com.

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