Using Novel Studies to Expand Content Area Learning

Novel studies are a great way to extend the content area learning AND address reading skills you need to teach too. In this post, I share tips on using novel studies with your students with a special focus on the Magic Treehouse books.

As we think of our content area objectives and all that must be taught, we often find a lack of time to get it all in. Novel studies are a great way to extend the content area learning AND address reading skills you need to teach too. In this post, I want to share a little bit about the unit I created for Revolutionary War on Wednesday by Mary Pope Osborne.

Novel studies are a great way to extend the content area learning AND address reading skills you need to teach too. In this post, I share tips on using novel studies with your students with a special focus on the Magic Treehouse books.

Using Revolutionary War on Wednesday for Content Area Studies

My fourth grade students study the Revolutionary War, but sometimes the readability of the materials used in class make accessing the information challenging. This book is written on a third grade level, and as the book is read, we work on reading skills AND the content information as well as related vocabulary.

Magic Treehouse Novel Studies

Mary Pope Osborne’s Magic Treehouse books do tie in well to both science and social studies content. In my shop, I’ve created five novel studies for her books including: this one, Midnight on the Moon, Blizzard of the Blue Moon, Eve of the Emperor Penguin, and Dinosaurs Before Dark. With these units, I often pair nonfiction close reading passages and research to work on nonfiction comprehension skills AND those content standards. Certainly, there are close reading passages available on the Revolutionary War. I suggest checking Read Works first since it is free. Students can listen to articles which helps scaffold the lessons for those who may be reading below level.

How to Include Content Studies into Your Novel Studies

Revolutionary War on Wednesday Skills:

  • Prereading Activity: Schema builder and Quick Write to build background.
  • Vocabulary and Making predictions
  • Visualizing using text details about the setting.
  • Vocabulary and Author’s Purpose
  • Comparing Patriots and Redcoats and Learning about the Revolutionary Wary
  • Vocabulary and Questioning
  • Facts, and Summarizing the Main Idea, and Vocabulary
  • Vocabulary and Story Details
  • Character Analysis
  • Vocabulary and Summarizing Information
  • Vocabulary and Story Plot (Details)
  • Problem and Solution
  • End of Book Report
Novel studies are a great way to extend the content area learning AND address reading skills you need to teach too. In this post, I share tips on using novel studies with your students with a special focus on the Magic Treehouse books.

Other Novel Studies to Explore:

  • Watsons Go to Birmingham (Civil Rights Movement)
  • Number the Stars (WW 2)
  • On the Wings of Heroes (WW2)
  • The Slave Dancer (Slavery)
  • Hurricane Force (Weather)
  • Night of the Twisters (Weather)
  • A Lion to Guard Us (Revolutionary War/Colonial Times)
  • American Girls (all periods of history)
  • Blood on the River (Revolutionary War)
  • Calico War (Civil War)
  • Bull Run (Civil War)
  • Shades of Gray (Civil War)
  • Biographies of MLK, Rosa Parks, Ruby Bridges, John Lewis, and Emmet Till

What titles do you love using? One great place to learn about great novels are in Facebook groups for your grade level. Take a moment to search for one or join mine! I love talking books!

clickable2bsignature-8983810

Have a novel in mind, but need materials to use with it? Grab this resource to get you and your students started.

This Post Has 20 Comments

  1. Melissa

    I would use the giftcard to buy items that will fit with my new themes this year.

  2. Suzy Q

    Great giveaway…the gift card would come in so handy!!

  3. Sebrina Burke

    This unit is such an awesome way to incorporate Social Studies with Reading! Your units are awesome.

  4. Markisha

    I would use the gift card to buy some crates and fabric for my classroom

  5. Jennifer Drake

    Thanks for sharing! I shared your post with a few upper elem teachers bc I know its something they could use! Hope you had a wonderful holiday!

  6. Kay Sommer

    Thanks Carla! I just love the Magic Treehouse series! Hope you had a great 4th!

    Kay

  7. S.O.L Train

    Thanks for sharing this! My kiddos love Magic Treehouse!

  8. emily3

    Love this unit for Magic Tree House! Kids are going to love it!

Leave a Reply