I’ve written Literature Units here at Live Love Learn Gracefully for about two months now and am totally loving every minute. But I wanted to take a second to explain why I’m writing these units and how to use them.
I’m sure many of you are thinking, this crazy woman has all preschoolers, why is she writing Literature Units for older kids? And that would be a good questions.
Which is what I hope to answer today, that and so much more.
Why Literature Units?
Literature units were always my favorite part of the school year. When I taught middle school, we had to get through our “curriculum” first, but at the end of the year we were always able to squeeze in a novel study or two.
I loved the opportunities for my students to get creative, to get hands on, and to add in historical aspects as well.
Even though I am home now, I still can’t shake the Middle School teacher in me. I began writing these Literature Units as a way to share ideas with other teachers and homeschool parents. My hope is that these units will bless who ever they come in contact with in some way.
Maybe you are just looking for a new book to read (check out Nory Ryan’s Song) or you need a few more activities for a novel you have planned. These Literature Units are made for you.
How to use them
These units do not involve worksheets or printables (yet), they are just a resource to give you ideas of topics you can cover, hands on activities, and projects to deepen your childs’ understanding.
Each unit is broken down by subject as you will see below.
Each will contain a few reading/literature suggestions, major elements that you can touch on throughout the novel, and activities that would be appropriate.
For example, in the Keeping Score unit one of the suggestions is to write a letter to a friend summarizing the novel. Letters are used throughout the novel as a means of communication between characters, so after studying the different types of letters, students can write one themselves.
At this point, I am not writing comprehension questions, quizzes, or vocabulary. That is something I may add in later, but not yet.
You will also find a variety of math, STEM, or science activities. My hope is that you can touch on one or two math and science related concepts with each novel. I love when I can find a fun STEM activity that fits.
For example, in the When Hitler Stole My Pink Rabbit unit one of the STEM activities was to build the Eiffel Tower.
This is probably the subject that I focus on the most. All of the Literature Units that I have written so far have been for Historical Fiction novels.
I have a slight obsession! But really, Historical Fiction novels just allow you to cover to many different concepts with just one book, what’s not to love?
Some of the suggested activities include timelines, research papers, lapbooks, posters, charts, virtual tours of museums, and more. For example in the unit for Nory Ryan’s Song there is a link to take a virtual tour of Ellis Island as students learn about immigration into America.
I always include additional project ideas, creative crafts, and even field trips. These ideas all relate back to the novel in some way, whether it’s the novel itself or some smaller concept addressed in the novel. These projects will just help deepen your child’s understanding in a fun and creative way.
In the Keeping Score unit some field trip suggestions include attending a baseball game to try out their new score tallying skill or visiting a nearby Korean War Memorial (if there are any nearby).
These units are geared for Middle School and Upper Elementary students (grades 5-8). Although all of them have been historical fiction, so far, they all have different plots and protagonists to hopefully make them appealing to a variety of students and interests.
You will also find a unique hashtag and Pinterest board for each novel. The hashtag just lets everyone who uses the novel see your ideas and successes. The Pinterest board is full of activities, STEM projects, Historical resources, and more for you to use or peruse.
I hpoe that you enjoy these units. Please let me know if you are looking for something different or more specific. I want these to be beneficial to you, so please let me know how I can change them to fit your needs. Also, don’t hesitate to recommend a novel you are interested in using.