Monday, May 20, 2013

Literature Units

I realized two months ago that I needed to come up with a plan about what books my kids are going to read for assigned reading in grades 3-8.  Books in our house are free to be read and so I knew that if I didn't hide these particular books away, they would be read before their time.  No prediction practice, no "in the moment" inference practice, no surprise or expectation.  So, my first page was to make a chart with the grades and genres listed.  Then, I plugged books into the genres for each grade.  I came up with a pretty full list.

Next, I put together my generic literature unit that could be used with any book.  I want to use this with half of the books, but not with all.  I want some specific literature guides that will help them think specifically about that text.  My hope (goal) is to find as many free resources for these units as I can.

I wanted to share my list (and findings) with you in this post in case it might be helpful.

I use a reader interspersed with book studies through the year (1 book study, 2-3 weeks reader, then repeat).

GU = I use my generic unit as detailed in this post:

Third Grade
Harcourt Trophies Reader and Practice Workbook, Grade 3
Literature Units:
(Fantasy) Charlotte's Web and (Realistic Fiction) Homer Price   On this site, you can pick and choose to put together your own book unit.  There's lots of ideas and activities to choose from.
Mr. Popper's Penguins

There are other units available here for grades 3-5:
Other Comprehension Guides for 2nd-4th:

Fourth Grade
Harcourt Trophies Reader and Practice Workbook, Grade 4
(Fantasy) Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
The Secret Garden and (Adventure) A Door in the Wall:  I wrote units for these books.  If interested, please email me.  I have not posted them publicly yet.
(Mystery) Secret of the Old Clock: GU
(Historical Fiction) Anna All year Round, GU

Fifth Grade
(Fantasy) A Wrinkle in Time  or
(Historical Fiction) Carry on Mr. Bowditch Combine: + GU +
(Mystery) The Invention of Hugo Cabaret GU +
(Realistic Fiction) The Railway Children short unit:
(Historical Fiction) Johnny Tremain  (5th/6th grade unit)
abbreviated list of questions:
(Fantasy) The Cricket in Times Square  click HERE   It is a 3rd grade packet, but I like the activities, and the level of work you require from your child will determine the difficulty.  You can also add some of the GU unit worksheets to make it more challenging.
Multiple Choice questions for each chapter (printable):
another one:
(Fairy Tale) The Light Princess (available to read online for free) use GU
Other: Pollyanna  use GU
If you want to watch the Masterpiece Theatre version and discuss it with your child, there is a discussion guide here:
Only the first 3 pages of this guide are helpful--the chapter summaries and theme list:

There are several other novel activity books written by the gal who wrote the Pollyanna activity book here:

Sixth Grade
(Biography) George Muller: YWAM Biography GU
(Historical Fiction) The Friendship Doll by Kirby Larson GU
(Mystery)  The second Mrs. Giaconda by E.L.Konigsburg  GU
For these three books, I plan on also possibly writing comprehension questions.
(Realistic Fiction)  Maniac Magee by Jerry Spinelli  (there are lots of units for this book out there)   brief unit with questions and a few activities
Thorough unit that covers vocabulary, comprehension, extension activities, includes a teaching calendar and lesson plans:
(Adventure) Around the World in 80 Days  GU
(Fantasy) Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of Nimh  short but sweet unit.  I would supplement with worksheets from the GU
(Fairy Tale) The Princess and the Goblin GU
Other: The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle

Other units:

Seventh Grade
Mirrors and Windows Reader
(Science Fiction) Ender's Game   First Unit of multiple choice and open ended questions, with activities as well,  or just a set of questions on the chapters from the book
(Autobiography) The Story of My Life by Helen Keller GU  Many of these activities could be used to supplement.
(Historical Fiction) Number the Stars
(Mystery) Wonderstruck GU, book report project, +questions from:
(Realistic Fiction) Flipped

Freak the Mighty plus use GU worksheets for story elements and chapter summaries.
Great info on heroes--don't miss this one:
(Adventure) Hatchet
(Fantasy) Alice's Adventures in Wonderland GU brief.  Assign to write an outline for a sequel.  Then, read Through the Looking Glass.  How did the real sequel compare to the student's?  Compare/Contrast.  What did they like/enjoy?
(Folk Tale/Fairy Tale) A Christmas Carol

Other units are available on

Eighth Grade
Mirrors and Windows Reader
(Autobiography) Chinese Cinderella
(Historical Fiction) Witch of Blackbird Pond
(Mystery) The Westing Game
(Realistic Fiction) MC Higgins the Great   GU
(Adventure) The Fellowship of the Ring
(Fantasy) Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
(Science Fiction) The Giver  This book is one of my favorites and if your student enjoys the first one, I'd encourage you to have them read all 4 and write a summary of each.  After each, discuss the themes of the story and ask what they thing the author wants them to ponder.  After the 4th, Son, discuss the Trade Mart and the idea of trading for something they want.  What is something your student has wanted?  What do they have?  Discuss the fact that they were created exactly as God wanted them to be.  Does he or she believe this?  Make a list poem...  I am...
(Fairy Tale) Beauty by Robin McKinley
Other: Jane Eyre
Red Badge of Courage

Whew.  I don't think we will get through all of these, because I will look more closely when we get to the coming year when it arrives.  But, I need to be on the safe side and pack all of these books away!

No comments: