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Reading for Success Charlotte's Web Novel Study (Digital PDF download) Review by Laura O’Neill

Terry Dodds and Fay Goodfellow
Novel Ideas, Inc.
5915 Old West Saanich Road
Victoria, BC, Canada, V9E 2H1

Literature studies are increasingly popular with homeschool families as they provide a way to dive deep into favorite novels or other reading selections. Both as a child and for my own children, we prefer to read an entire unabridged novel than just a chapter selected for a reading textbook.

Reading for Success© is a program that provides approximately one month of instruction with an award-winning piece of children’s literature as the focal point.  Within the study, lessons incorporate vocabulary exercises, guided story reading, comprehension activities, fluency building exercises, vocabulary development with a vocabulary notebook, written follow-up activities, and enrichment and extension activities.

The study authors have years of experience creating curriculum for students with different learning needs. Their desire is to have the most effective reading and writing curriculum on the market available to schools.

For this review, we were provided with the Reading for Success Charlotte’s Web Novel Study. Charlotte’s Web is both well-known and beloved by many and a great selection for upper elementary grades (4th through 6th.)

This electronic download (pdf format) provides everything you need to guide your student through the novel. You just need a copy of the book to read. This title is easily found in most library systems for families who do not want to purchase a copy.

While this study is written with a classroom teacher in mind, it can easily be adapted for the homeschool environment.

The file is divided into 3 distinct sections: Teacher’s Guide, Blackline Masters, and Student Workbook.

The Teacher’s Guide is well scripted to help you walk through the material. Lessons begin with vocabulary work and then moves into other activities. This includes ideas for guided reading of the novel. Different questions are given for the chapter being read that call attention to key characters, ideas or vocabulary.

A fluency component requires the student to read aloud a section of the novel to a fellow student and then to the teacher. This can be modified for the homeschool environment by having your child read aloud each day.

Follow up activities (written) are included in the Student Notebook. Each lesson includes a quick review of vocabulary words as well as the opportunity to write on topics related to that section of the novel. Some of the work is fill-in-the-blank and graphic organizers are used as well. Answers are provided in the Teacher’s Guide section.

Within the Blackline Masters section, you will find sheets for the student’s vocabulary notebook. For each word, they provide a definition, use it in a sentence and a visual representation. These sheets can be gathered into a single notebook for future reference. Suggested definitions are present in the Glossary included in this section. Additionally, there are tracking sheets to monitor progress for the students.

Finally, there is an end of unit study test available to give your student. The answer key is included in the Teacher’s Guide.

Overall, this is an in-depth approach to language arts using the novel as the center of the study. While it is written for a classroom setting, it can be adapted to single student use or within a cooperative setting. Homeschool parents can always pick and choose which activities to use with their student.

-Product review by Laura O’Neill, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, August, 2018