Time seems to fly with testing approaching for the upper grades. There are so many skills to review in preparation for the state tests that it can feel overwhelming to tackle it all. While this often seems like a time to revert to practice passages and the basal, I encourage you to consider book clubs or novel studies as a way to keep kids engaged with those essential (testable) skills. Sure, you can still pick one day a week to do a practice passage, but the other four days can be so much more enjoyable if you practice with authentic literature.
Below is a collection of books I’ve put together for March book clubs. I’ve pulled texts from a variety of genres and topics.
Dear Mr. Henshaw – This book is written partially through letters and is a great book for looking at author’s craft. This book, by Beverly Clearly, covers so many topics that are really applicable to so many students, but she did it in a really unique way. I definitely recommend this book to help push your readers toward out-of-the box thinking. I actually loved it so much that I wrote some trifolds to accompany it. Get the no prep trifold novel study here.
Who Was Susan B. Anthony? – March is Women’s History Month! This biography is a perfect book club choice for March because it focuses on an important woman in American history. Students will learn so much about this important American icon, while being able to practice their critical comprehension skills on a literary nonfiction text.
Who Was Dr. Seuss? – In addition to St. Patrick’s Day and Women’s History Month, March is also the month of the very well loved Dr. Seuss with Read Across America Day on March 2nd. Get into the spirit by reading this fabulous biography. I learned a TON about Dr. Seuss when I was working on a trifold for this book. His life was very interesting and is guaranteed to draw in readers!
Charlotte’s Web – Spring is coming! This story is one of my favorites to read because it goes through an entire year of Wilbur’s life, starting with his birth as a spring pig. I read this text yearly because it is so rich in opportunities to discuss vocabulary and comprehension. The kids LOVE this story, despite having seen the movie and already being familiar with it. Want to use Charlotte’s Web with your class? Save yourself time by picking up this no prep trifold!
Magic Tree House: Leprechaun in Late Winter – A great, easy read that brings in the fun of St. Patrick’s Day. Students love the Magic Tree House series, and there are great opportunities to talk about real world topics and the fantasy genre in these books. This is the perfect pick for a fun themed book club in March. You can even partner it with the nonfiction companion book, Leprechauns and Irish Folklore.
Bridge to Terabithia – A classic tale of friendship and imagination that will draw in your readers. This story is such a great one for encouraging some great conversations about friendship, but like so many great pieces of literature, the ending isn’t quite picture perfect. I’ve saved you some time by creating a set of trifolds that cover a broad range of tested comprehension skills. You can check it out here.
Wonder – Okay, so I know I recommended this book last month. However, I really feel like it is a great one, and this is the time of year that kids really need the reminder to be kind to one another. Even in the most well-managed class, these weeks leading up to spring break are when the wheels start to fall off and the friendships start to get strained. This book is a great reminder about choosing kindness. Get the no prep trifolds here.