Great Books Guides

Written by a homeschooler and a public-school English teacher, these novel units were written to provide homeschool parents and teachers with the tools to complete an in-depth literature study for books usually read at the high school level. Each guide includes a study of literary terms, background information on the novel and author, vocabulary study, comprehension questions, discussion or thinking questions, an assortment of writing assignments, enrichment activities, and a comprehensive test. Before even cracking open the novel, students will learn literary and drama terms and take a test on them. Then the novel itself is introduced, along with background information on the novel, the author, the historical period it was written in, and the major themes that run through the novel. Vocabulary words are studied next, before the book is read. Study guide questions are provided at this point, divided up by group of chapters. These questions are primarily recall and comprehension questions, and are laid out in a consumable format, intended for the student to complete as he or she reads the book. More in-depth critical thinking questions follow the study guide questions, and several pages of comprehension questions, laid out in a workbook-type format are included as well. The next portion of the guide contains the writing assignments. Both creative writing and expository writing assignments are included. These fairly in-depth assignments ask students to write short stories, letters, and five-paragraph essays based on questions related to the novel. A "Checklist for Compositions" has been included to aid the teacher in correcting, grading and evaluating the composition. Several enrichment activities are also added, and these include assignments such as reading additional related books and comparing characters or themes or doing an analysis of literary devices in one of the author's other books. The study wraps and with a comprehensive unit test, which incorporates true/false, multiple choice, vocabulary, and short answer questions. For all of you out there a little shaky on teaching literature study, you'll be glad to know that a complete answer key is also included, and contains answers to the literary terms test, vocabulary questions, study guide questions, critical thinking questions, comprehension questions, and the test questions. All in all, these are some of the more substantial and thorough study guides I've seen, that take both the novel study and writing very seriously. - Jess

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Item # 031125
Grades: 9-12
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