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Teaching Novels: A Worthy Endeavor

I need not convince you of the value of including long-form literature in your curriculum. All English teachers remember the plays, memoirs, biographies, and novels that broadened their minds and inspired their imaginations. However, using literature to create meaningful learning experiences for students challenges even the most expert educators.

My Experience

As a classroom teacher in middle and high schools, I found so many great resources for project-based learning, vocabulary building, writing workshops, and on and on.  However, I never found satisfactory resources to help me teach novels and other genres of long-form literature.

Many of the existing guides offered little to no structure.  Some were just collections of impractical (and sometimes irrelevant) projects.  Still others only offered a seemingly endless list of discussion questions. I had the feeling that the publishers were out-of-touch with day-to-day teaching.

I invested a great deal of time and energy in creating novel units from scratch.  The units improved from year to year, and sharing my resources gratified me greatly. I decided to expand the project. Resources

Literature units should balance structure and flexibility. TeachNovels resources provide a user-friendly blueprint that you can follow strictly or modify significantly. A variety of lesson and activity options enable you to pick and choose in addressing your teaching goals.

Key Principles:

    • Clear reading schedule (with reading checks)
    • Lessons matched to each reading (several options)
    • Consistent lesson format (moving from direct instruction to independent practice)
    • Ready-to-go instructional materials (handouts, projections, etc.)
    • Various learning modalities (discovery writing, cooperative groups, etc.)
    • Standards-aligned objectives
    • Citing and analyzing textual evidence
    • Practical assessment options

Thank your for your interest.

I hope that these resources aid you in delivering the expert instruction that all students deserve. The positive response to this project has overwhelmed and energized me.  It is with gratitude and enthusiasm that I look forward to expanding the TeachNovels offerings.  If you have any thoughts or suggestions, feel free to contact me.