Novel Guides in the Classroom

Novel guides are one of the most wonderful resources to use in a classroom.  A teacher can use a novel guide to teach so many things such as the love of reading, the analysis of figurative language, vocabulary, and literary elements.

Teachers and students can read the novel together and watch their teacher model the love of reading while enjoying the novel together.  When teachers decide to read a novel in a classroom, they usually have their hearts invested in this particular novel.  When the passion is there, it is much easier to hook students into reading the novel also.  Many students love to read in class because they feel like they are doing nothing, but listening to someone reading is an essential skill.  Students are learning when they are listening, but sometimes are having too much fun to convince themselves that they are learning.

While reading a novel, the analysis of figurative language evolves naturally.  Discussion questions are a natural development of the reading process.  The questions can be as basic as:  What are the names of the characters?  Discussion questions can also be posed at a higher order thinking skill such as:  How would you handle a similar crisis that the main character handled in this novel?  Compare and contrast the two ways of handling the crisis.

A vocabulary lesson can easily be put together by providing students with an activity like Window Panes.  A student writes the vocabulary word, the definition, uses the word in a sentence, and draws a picture of the vocabulary word.

Literary elements such as theme, setting, and characters can be the most fun.  Different graphic organizers and borders can be used to help students identify and apply the literary elements.

Novel guides can be fun for teachers and students.  Vocabulary building, literary analysis, and discussion questions are some of the activities and concepts that can be explored while reading a novel.