Becoming a Better Reader: Fantastic CCSS Novel Study Units for Grades 3-5


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CCSS Novel study for grades 3-5 to make better readers.  Engaging novels, detailed reading

When I saw this, I knew immediately that we must have this.  Even though this packet is not free – in my opinion – it’s more than worth the $8.99 that it cost.  I have created question and writing prompts for novels before.  I have attempted to do this for Charlotte’s Web – and you know what?  It was a whole lot of work.  Certainly, my time is worth a lot more than $8.99.  I know it sounds bad, but I just don’t have time for it.  If someone else loves doing it, uses good quality novels and makes the reading fun – I say “why not”.   Why should I have to do all the work?  I have enough to do myself.  I’m looking to downsize – not make a bunch of busy work trying to create curriculum.  I’m very honest with myself about my talents.  I’m not a curriculum creator.  I am a curriculum doer!

Originally, the author created this for her 6th graders who were struggling readers in order to develop essential literacy skills and become a better reader.  This packet uses novels that are on level and will keep your child interested and engaged.  The Novels that are covered are the following:


Great middle reader novel unit studies @educents


Because of Winn Dixie

Kate DiCamillo’s first published novel, like Winn-Dixie himself, immediately
proved to be a keeper — a New York Times bestseller, a Newbery Honor winner, the inspiration for a popular film, and most especially, a cherished classic

that touches the hearts of readers of all ages.


Chocolate Fever

Henry Green is a boy who loves chocolate. He likes it bitter, sweet, dark, light, and daily; for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks;

in cakes, candy bars, milk, and every other form you can possibly imagine.



From renowned Newbery-winning author Jerry Spinelli comes an incredible story about how not fitting in might just lead to an incredible life.

Just like other kids, Zinkoff rides his bike, hopes for snow days, and wants to be like his dad when he grows up. But Zinkoff also raises his hand with all the wrong answers, trips over his own feet, and falls down with laughter over a word like “Jabip.” Other kids have their own word to describe him, but Zinkoff is too busy to hear it. He doesn’t know he’s not like everyone else. And one winter night, Zinkoff’s differences show that any name can someday become “hero.”


The Boxcar Children

The Aldens begin their adventure by making a home in a boxcar. Their goal is to stay together, and in the process they find a grandfather.


Pleasing the Ghost

Newbery Medal winner and master storyteller Sharon Creech spins a wonderfully funny and tender tale.  As nine-year-old Dennis confronts the ghost of his uncle Arvie, Arvie’s eccentric antics and wonderful wordplay keep the reader laughing. But at its tender heart, the story reveals the holes left in our lives when we lose the ones we love.


Young Cam Jensen – 3 Book Bundle – Grades 1-3

Young Cam Jensen and the Pizza Shop Mystery

Young Cam Jensen and the Missing Cookie

Young Cam Jenson and the Ice Skating Mystery

There is a lot of variety which will keep your child entertained.


Because of Winn Dixie

We started with Winn Dixie.  It includes great questions getting at main characters, character interaction with each other, and also with the story.  She has included great writing prompts that help them to think outside the box and the story.  I think these unit studies do what they need to do – which is help the children understand detailed reading – and what points are important.  It also helps them to understand character interaction.


Why we Like this Unit

You can buy the books – as they are all would be great additions to your personal library.  Also, all these book are in our public library, both in print and in electronic format.  We opted to get them in electronic format – as it’s easier to rent (everything can be done from home), there are NO LATE RETURN RENTAL FEES (big for us), and we can renew as many times as we want.

Each book is an independent unit.  We can work at our own pace.  We are doing 4-5 chapter chunks every week.

The kids work independently.  I have put together a folder for each unit.  My son can choose what he wants to read.  I have given him the timeline and he can complete it as he sees fit.  It’s truly a print and go.  You print it out and they can go-go-go.  As long as the chapter chunks are completed within a week – I could care less whether he does them on Wednesday, Friday, breaks them up or does it all at once.  This is so good for building independence – which is what we really need.  He needs to learn how to schedule his time and do assignments in a timely manner.

The books are of high quality and they are fun!

The unit is well worth the money.


Purchase The CCSS Novel Study Units


You can purchase these great unit studies at Educents


What are other great books would make fun unit studies for middle readers?


About Lisa

Hey! Thank you so much for stopping by. I'm Lisa - a homeschool mom of 3 (2 boys and 1 girl). I care about the strength of the family in America, and often blog about babies/kids, natural parenting, homeschool, and marriage. Before you leave, please sign up for my monthly newsletter (on the top right). If you do, you will be well rewarded with notification of all giveaways and sales - which will not be announced on the blog. Google+ Profile


  1. I don’t home school my son but I am always looking for ways to strengthen his literacy skills. I never know the right questions to ask him about a text he read and this packet gives me what I’m looking for. He is currently reading Wonder by R J Palacio I wish I had questions and writing prompts for this book. Like you said I could research and find questions and prompts,but I don’t have the time! Great resource!
    Yanique Chambers recently posted…5 Unintended Consequences of Common CoreMy Profile

  2. Hi Lisa,
    I love unit studies. I think it is awesome for kids to learn multiple skills through literature. I’ve always loved Because of Winn Dixie. The author’s voice shines. Cam Jansen and Box Car Children are always a hit with children. 🙂 I learned of a new book: Chocolate Fever. Thanks.
    Have a fabulous day and be blessed!
    Pamela – Literate For Life
    Literate For Life (Pamela Hall) recently posted…Top 7 St. Patrick’s Day Books For KidsMy Profile

  3. These look fantastic! Do you sell the Cam Jansen set alone? I teach gifted kindergarten and the others would be too difficult at this point but Cam Jansen is perfect!

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