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Pair Novels in the Classroom Like a Pro

In the article “5 MORE Questions to Ask When Selecting Classroom Novels” I mentioned how novel-pairing potential should be an important factor when considering a book for your curriculum. However, classroom context matters, and book pairing may require some creativity to execute. Here are 3 ways to pair novels in the classroom like a pro. Pairing is a fantastic way to provide students critical space to make robust text-to-text connections, engage in meaningful discussion, and hone their analytic skills. It also reveals to them one of the great joys of literature: discovering and joining the conversations that exist across time and space amongst and between texts.

 

One In | One Out

One way to pair novels in the classroom like a pro is with two novels, teaching one in-class with students while students engage with the second independently at home. The benefits are two-fold. First, students can use the at-home novel as a way to independently practice the skills learned in class. Second, when read in tandem, the novels create avenues for connection and discussion. They can speak to each other, and you can position your students to facilitate their convers