Amplify ELA’s Novel Guides provide middle school teachers with flexible study guides for the books they most want to teach, some of which are available in the digital Amplify Library. The guides focus on the strongest aspect of each novel and allow students to explore and analyze key themes. Learn more about Novel Guides, Digital Novel Guides, and Multicultural Classroom Novel Guides.
Amplify ELA Novel Guides
These guides provide students with targeted instruction that follows Amplify ELA’s pedagogy as they explore great literature.
The diverse selection of books in this series presents a range of genres and themes, from mystery to nonfiction and from social justice to identity and courage. Students explore classics and contemporary award winners, expand their literacy skills, and discover the rewards that come with close reading compelling texts. The Novel Guides are designed to be used flexibly and offer suggestions for implementation.
All Novel Guides are housed in the Amplify Library as downloadable and printable PDFs. They include student worksheets and instructions for the teacher to guide their students through a close read of a passage, and all the way to the end of a book.
The Novel Guides display on the Home page of the Amplify Library. You can also search for Novel Guides in the Search library box. Selecting a Novel Guide will open a printable PDF in a new tab.
Available Novel Guides
📘 Full text also available in Amplify Library
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas 📘
The Call of the Wild by Jack London 📘
Wonder by R.J. Palacio
Inside Out & Back Again by Thanha Lai 📘
And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie 📘
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson 📘
Hidden Figures (Young Readers Edition) by Margot Lee Shetterly, Bahni Turpin, et al. 📘
The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton
When I Was Puerto Rican by Esmerelda Santiago
The Watsons Go To Birmingham by Christopher Paul Curtis
Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson
Digital Novel Guides
Digital novel guide units are adapted from the Novel Guide PDFs in the Amplify Library. You can find them in the Flexible Units section of the Year Overview. Each guide organizes activities into five lessons covering a different set of reading, writing, and speaking skills. Lessons feature submittable student work, including auto-scored solos, and work alongside print texts (as well as the novels currently in the Amplify Library).
The Digital Novel Guides can be used at any time throughout the school year and provide recommendations for units from the Amplify ELA curriculum that share similar themes and subject matter with the novel.
Available Digital Novel Guides
Inside Out & Back Again by Thanha Lai
Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
The Call of the Wild by Jack London
Hidden Figures (Young Readers Edition) by Margot Lee Shetterly, Bahni Turpin, et al.
And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
All of these novels can be found in the Amplify Library along with PDF versions of the Digital Novel Guides, so students can read the books on their devices. The Digital Novel Guides were adapted from the Novel Guide PDFs in the Amplify Library, and allow students to read the text, complete activities, and submit work through Amplify’s curriculum app.
Digital Novel Guides: Lessons
Each guide organizes activities into five lessons, covering a different set of reading, writing, and speaking skills. As you prepare to work with Digital Novel Guides, review all five lessons to figure out how each will integrate into your instruction. Each lesson is unique and requires a different amount of time and way of working with students. While Lessons 1 and 5 contain material that should be presented as students begin and end the novel, the other lessons and activities are designed to be more flexible. Before assigning any of the activities, please make sure to click through all five lessons to see which activities you would like to use, which chapters align with each activity, and how much time you will need to cover the material.
Lesson 1: Introduction
Introduces students to the author and story, providing important context and orienting students to the key ideas and themes they will be exploring in the novel. This lesson is designed to be completed in a single class period.
Lesson 2: Close Reading Activities
Includes close reading activities for students and provides multiple text excerpts for close reading analysis. It is designed to be returned to multiple times as students read the book.
Lesson 3: Guiding Questions
Guiding Questions focus students’ attention on the novel’s key themes and character development to support independent reading. The questions can be used to prompt student discussions, guide student reading throughout the book, and ensure student comprehension.
Lesson 4: Discussion and Reflection
Focuses students on in-class discussion and independent analysis of the writer’s craft. This lesson is designed to be completed either as students progress through the book or after students have finished reading the book. The activities in this lesson can also be expanded upon for multiple lessons.
Lesson 5: Final Projects
Provides a selection of cumulative projects for teachers to choose from, including multimedia projects and writing prompts. The projects are designed to be flexible and should be completed after students finish the book.
Using Digital Novel Guides
The Digital Novel Guides can be used at any time throughout the school year. Each guide provides recommendations for units from the ELA core curriculum that share similar themes and subject matter with its novel. The versatility offered by the Digital Novel Guides provides teachers with the flexibility to choose activities based on instructional goals. Certain activities can be assigned as independent work; others are designed for in-class group work. The Digital Novel Guides can be taught at any pace.
This sample 4-week plan pulls activities from all five lessons, covering a wide range of reading, writing, and listening skills.
Digital Novel Guides: Frequently Asked Questions
Where are the assessments?
While there are no formal assessments, Lesson 3 contains a combination of open-ended prompts and auto-scored reading questions to assess reading comprehension. These prompts cover the entirety of the book and can be assigned as students progress through the novel. The writing prompt at the end of Lesson 2 may be used as a summative assessment.
How are these different from PDF Novel Guides?
Digital Novel Guides contain an additional instructional component, auto-scored questions, which help assess student comprehension.
How do I know what skills they teach?
Each lesson has a Teacher Lesson Brief that details the reading, writing, and speaking & listening skills covered in the activities.
When do I use them?
These Novel Guides are flexible and can be used at any time throughout the school year. Lesson 1 of each Digital Novel Guide includes recommendations for units from the core curriculum that would pair well thematically with each novel.
Why are there no time markers for the activities in the lessons?
Digital Novel Guides can be used at your own pace. While Lesson 1 is intended to be taught in a single class period, the other lessons are designed to be flexible. Each lesson is unique and requires a different amount of time and way of working with students.
Multicultural Classroom Novel Guides
Novel Guides created in partnership with Multicultural Classroom
Amplify ELA partnered with Multicultural Classroom to create these optional* multicultural novel guides. These select titles represent some of the diverse backgrounds and lived experiences of your students. They focus on merging deeply thoughtful literary work with important discussions about the individual, community, and societal issues raised by each novel. The prompts and questions will push students to develop their own thinking around the meaning behind these culturally diverse novels.
The novel guides come with a companion guide for teachers to facilitate instruction. They are flexible to fit in your class schedule and can be used at any time throughout the school year.
Available Multicultural Classroom Novel Guides*
Ghost by Jason Reynolds
From the Desk of Zoe Washington by Janae Marks
Before the Ever After by Jacqueline Woodson
The Revolution of Evelyn Serrano by Sonia Manzano
They Called Us Enemy by George Takei
*Availability by district request. Please reach out to your Amplify representative.