Create A Literature Study Guide For Middle School Students

Instill the joy of reading in your middle schoolers.

Students don’t have to wait until they get into high school to begin reading novels in class. Middle school students respond very well to novels being taught as part of the literature curriculum. As a teacher, you can create your own literature study guide without the expense of purchasing a “canned” guide from a teacher’s resource publisher.


1. Choose a grade-level appropriate novel. It will need to be reading level appropriate if you have lower reading level students. High-interest, low-level novels are abundant.

2. Read the novel completely once before going back through it to take notes. Make sure you divide the novel into manageable sections; two to four chapters at a time works well.

3. Pull vocabulary words out that can be identified in context, and create vocabulary lists and activities for each section.

4. Develop discussion questions and activities for each section. Make sure the questions lend themselves to good, in-depth discussions rather than just simple, factual answers.

5. Develop graphic organizers for the students to fill out or complete. Use things like story maps, T-charts, character webs, prediction charts and decision-making grids. Make transparencies of these to use on the overhead.

6. Develop cooperative learning activities and some speaking/listening activities.

7. Create study guides and tests or quizzes for each section. Tests should include multiple choice, matching, sequencing, short answer and essay/extended response sections.

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