Novels are a great focus for a reading lesson. In this post, I’ll share some tips and ideas that I’ve used when teaching a novel. Hopefully you’ll find something useful.


  • Teacher reads
  • Students read aloud
  • Students read silently (together in class)
  • Students read at home

I usually read the novel as the children enjoy hearing the teacher read. It also models good practice with expression and phrasing. It is also beneficial for struggling readers as they can enjoy the story and not have to worry about decoding, blending and segmenting.

Writing/Oral language

  • Summarise the story in 99 words (or any amount of words – depending on class level)
  • Character study – describe one of the characters, draw the character and write adjectives and facts to describe them around the illustration
  • What do you think will happen next?
  • If you were the character what would you do?
  • If the main character walked into the room what would you ask them?
  • Imagine you are the main character. Write a diary entry about what has just happened.
  • Imagine the author came to visit – what would you ask them?
  • Rewrite an event in the story from another characters¬†viewpoint.
  • Change the ending


  • Illustrate the setting
  • What do you think the main characters look like? Draw them.
  • Divide the story into 4/5 parts – draw the scene (Children could work in groups to do this activity)
  • Make a shoebox diorama of your favourite part in the novel


  • Imagine the novel will be made into a movie. The class have been chosen as the composers of a new piece of music to illustrate an event in the story. Create the music.


  • Pick¬†4/5 main events in the story. Each group works on a part.
  • Try hot seating different characters – get the children to describe how they feel (in role) during/after different events
  • Conscience alley – ask the children to make a difficult decision
  • Improvisation – add a new character to the event – how does this change how things happened in the story? will the ending be different?