Novel-Ties Study Guides

What? Another set of literature guides? Sometimes, it seems that way even to us. However, what’s a person to do when you encounter an excellent secular series that has an amazing list of titles and provides a quality study at all grade levels? To us, it’s a bit of a no-brainer.

These are very comprehensive and thorough studies with just a hint of cross-curricular applications and a good variety of writing activities. I particularly like the fact that they do use graphic organizers – but not so exhaustively that you feel overwhelmed by them. The guides have a common pattern whether for young primary grades or high school level. Guides include:

  • Synopsis and Background Info
  • Pre-Reading Activities & Discussion Questions
  • Chapter (or passage) coverage including vocabulary, comprehension questions, discussion questions, literary devices, and writing activities
  • Cloze Activity (filling in the blanks of a quote/passage with appropriate words)
  • Post-Reading Activities & Discussion Questions
  • Suggestions for Further Reading

I look for several things in a good study and this series has them all. First of all, vocabulary is studied within the context of quality literature and is a valuable part of the study. Secondly, literary analysis starts early and is covered thoroughly. Thirdly, questions go beyond basic comprehension and delve into deeper, thought-provoking issues. Lastly, writing activities are expected and have good variety. This series provides all of that and does it well. To add to the appeal, the guides have a pick-up-and-go, user-friendly format that doesn’t burden you with a lot of teacher-y rigmarole. Reproducible for a classroom and there’s a complete answer key. 24 – 35 pgs. pb ~ Janice


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