Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Tried it Tuesday: Readworks Novel Units

Since I am all about finding outlets for new ideas and trying new ways of doing things,  I love this linky party.  I am very excited to link up to Holly's Tried it Tuesday.


I think this is such a fabulous idea for a linky party. I actually discovered Holly's blog and Jivey's blog through other people who linked up to this linky last week. I am already in love with both of their blogs!

Have you tried  Next to Read Write Think, it is my favorite free education resource on the web.  There are lots of great passages!  Did you know they also have novel units?  I am extremely excited about these.  I had decided that we would be starting a round of book clubs or literature circles using mysteries.  I had my students rank their order of preference for Chasing Vermeer, The Westing Game, and From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler.

I already had a novel unit with questions and activities for From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, but I needed chapter questions for Chasing Vermeer and The Westing Game.  I happened to be on last week looking at passages and saw they had novel units for both of the two books I needed. Score!

Actually, the novel units are fantastic.  They include chapter questions, vocabulary activities, and a unit assessment.  On top of that the units include full lessons, so that if you taught the book as a whole group or read aloud full lessons are already ready for you to use as a resource. The novel units are considered for 5th and 6th grade, but there are some great titles I would use for grades 4-6.

Tomorrow I am going to hand them a calendar with due dates of when the groups will meet and what chapters need to be read by those dates.  They will then plan out how much they read each day to have the reading/assignments done by due dates. I am going to be having my students make a detective notebook to include info on setting, characters, and clues on the mystery.  This will give some consistency among the three books.  We will also make Wanted Posters for a character they think is suspicious/guilty mid-way through the book. For Mixed Up Files, I will probably have them make a missing child sign instead of a Wanted Poster.  We will also do all three types of writing during the 4 weeks they read the mysteries. They will write an informational writing based on a topic inspired by the book, they will write a persuasive of who might be guilty or what the solution to the mystery might be, and the narrative at the end will be to write their own mystery story.

I will use the chapter questions and unit assessment from Readworks and my other novel unit as quizzes for the material. Have you used Readworks?  If not, check it out.  You won't be disappointed.


  1. I just started reading The Mixed Up Files as our end of the day read aloud - love that book! Thanks for the new site to check out!

    Looking From Third to Fourth

  2. I had not heard of Readworks, I'm going to have to check it out! I am a new follower!

  3. Thanks for sharing! I've never heard of this site but it looks great.

    Literacy Spark

  4. Thank you so much for the shout out and for linking up!! I have used Readworks for skills based passages but I didn't know that they have novel units too! What a bonus!! I love the material and it seems to have more "rigor" than other sites. I also love your idea of the literature circles and having the students do three different types of writing. I just bought and downloaded Laura Candler's "book clubs" guide and am going to try it out after the big test:)
    Fourth Grade Flipper


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