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Novel units



What are some good books to do novel units on with my students? I'm looking for things "off the beaten path", books that more than likely they haven't read before. I'm looking for reading levels 4-6. Any suggestions would be much appreciated:)


Senior Member
a few suggestions

I'm currently beginning a unit on The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe as the movie is coming out in a few weeks. Last year I taught Hatchet by Gary Paulsen and my kids really lapped it up. They also enjoyed Bud Not Buddy. One of my friends is beginning to teach Chasing Vermeer which is a rather recent title, but she is really enthusiastic about it. I also like Esperanza Rising. We are about to obtain a class set of Kira Kira that is the latest Newbery Award winner, and a lot of my colleagues are enthusiastic about it.


Full Member
You have to do the Watsons

I do The Watsons' Go to Birmingham by Christopher Paul Curtis. My kids love it. I use the tape of it read by Levar Burton off of Reading Rainbow. It is a great historical fiction book set in 1963.


Senior Member
I also do the Watsons. It's a wonderful book!!!! However, there is language in it. Make cedrtain you read it first. To be on the safe side, I would let the parents know first. I have never had any parents object to it since we were reading it as a class, but it is always best to cover your backside.


New Member
novel ideas

my students are fans of louis sachar. they love "sixth grade secrets." they also loved "freak the mighty" and "maniac magee." they also can't get enough of lemony snicket's series of unfortunate events books. they keep flying out of my classroom library.



I just finished teaching two novels by Cynthia DeFelice, "Weasel" and "Lostman's River" my students loved them both! A novel I taught last year was that my students enjoyed was, "A Long Way From Chicago".


sixth grade secrets

I am using sixth grade secrets for the first time this year. Do you have any good activities or worksheets that might be helpful?


Novels for 6th grade

I use THE CAY, HATCHET, THE WITCH OF BLACKBIRD POND, DETECTIVES IN TOGAS, and NUMBER THE STARS in my 6th grade class. The students like all of the books and most of them have not read any of these. There are lots of materials on the internet with these also.

Love to Teach


I teach 5th grade and the novels I use in class are Hatchet, Maniac Magee, & The Watsons Go To Birmingham. With my higher level readers, we have worked on And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie and The Pearl. Hope these help!