June 30, 2014

Common Core Novel Study Notebook/Smashbook

Finally! After a week of working on this project, I'm finally done!!!!! :) I hope you all love this because I think it is so cool and unique and I can't wait to use it!

The Common Core Novel Study Notebook/SmashBook is a great way for students to be creative while studying and analyzing a novel. This activity covers 5 Common Core standards and requires a lot of deep thinking, but does it in a way that keeps the students' attention a little better than worksheets and essays. This unit will take approximately 3 weeks [If you choose to teach it as a 'unit'. See the bottom of this entry for another use of the Notebook/SmashBook].

Here's how I'm using it:
I used to teach the Holocaust unit in class, but now I'm turning it into a "home" unit while I teach a 3-week writing unit in class. I'm not going to have homework for this writing unit, so this Novel Study Notebook/SmashBook will be the homework. They will pick a book about the Holocaust, read it, and complete the Notebook/SmashBook as homework during those 3 weeks. As you'll see in the directions, I will be checking their progress multiple times along the way to make sure they stay on track.

I also created a FULL example myself to show the kids, and turned it into a Power Point for you all to use an an example:

And here are some of my pages:
 The page above is the Important Figurative Language page. It's creative and SmashBooky because of the little details like Washi tape, paper cut outs,  and different colored pens.

This page is the Major Characters page. Since it is a true story, I was able to find photos of the actual author and his father upon entering the Concentration Camps :(

There are 23 pages total that the students fill out during and/or after they read. The Summary page and the Reflections page require paragraphs with proper conventions, so writing is still enforced in this project.

Well I hope you all find this useful. While my example is being taught as a unit, you can assign outside reading, like one book per semester, and have them do this project with that instead of "teaching" it as a "unit". The rubric will also help you to be as objective as possible so parents don't pull the whole "this isn't art class" thing on ya ;)

Enjoy the Common Core Novel Study Notebook/SmashBook everyone!


  1. I am putting this on my wish list, I love it!! Great job! This would go perfectly in my interactive student notebook!

    1. Awesome! Glad you like it! I'll be having a "Back to School" sale in Aug so maybe your 'wish' will come true then! :) haha

    2. Or...I'll probably buy it today, haha :)