3rd Grade Novel Unit: Which Book Should I Choose?

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  We are out of school for the rest of the week in preparation for Hurricane Florence. Thoughts and prayers to everyone in the path of the storm.

I’ll be using the time to re-read some favorite novels in preparation for a book study group I’ll be leading next week. I’ll be spending 45 minutes each morning with a small group of 3rd graders to give them some ELA enrichment. The books up for consideration (because class sets of them were purchased last year) are:

  Frindle by Andrew Clements

  The Homework Machine by Dan Gutman

  Class Clown by Johanna Hurwitz

I like that all three have a school setting, which is something all students can relate to, and that they include some humor to help tell the story.

I still vividly remember when Class Clown won the South Carolina Children’s Book Award back in 1990. I made a giant card out of poster board to present to Ms. Hurwitz at the SCASL Conference that year. On the front I used an overhead projector to trace the cover illustration and colored it in with markers, and then the students from my school signed their names inside.

I like the idea of using a book by Andrew Clements or Dan Gutman because both are such prolific authors. Once kids fall in love with a book, it’s nice to point them to other things the author has written. (And come to think of it, The Homework Machine was a SC Children’s Book Award nominee in 2008, although it lost out to How to Steal a Dog by Barbara O’Connor.)

Which book would you choose? Leave a comment and share your thoughts!

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