A few weeks ago I was out with Darlene Beck Jacobson and she started talking about the work she was doing to develop a curriculum and study guide for her debut book that is coming out in September.
I asked her to share what she was doing with all of you, since we can all learn from each other. Here is part one of the three part series.
TYING YOUR NOVEL INTO THE CORE CURRICULUM By Darlene Beck Jacobson
Schools are changing. So are the curriculum requirements. With teachers being squeezed for time and tight budgets limiting purchases of “frivolous” things like fiction for the classroom, what can we writers do to give our books a fighting chance on classroom reading lists?
You can develop a CURRICULM GUIDE and STUDY QUESTIONS to tie into the Core Curriculum Content Standards. For my historical middle grade novel WHEELS OF CHANGE, which takes place in 1908 Washington DC, I developed a curriculum guide on the second wave of the Industrial Revolution. (see attached)
I also did a separate set of Study Questions that tie into Reading and Literature objectives. (see attached) You can do the same thing for your novel…even if it isn’t historical. Begin by generating questions that fit the Reading and Literature sections of the standards. Then look for the universal theme or ideas that would generate good classroom discussions on topics that cover important issues such as war, homelessness, divorce, illness, poverty, prejudice, etc. These topics can be part of Science, Health, and Social Studies units. Fellow writers have even tied their books into art and music areas as well.
You can also develop worksheets, puzzles, games or other reproducible activity sheets that teachers can use in the classroom. Everything you can do to make life easier for a teacher, will help make your book stand out from all the others that cry for attention in the curriculum.
To learn more about Common Core Standards visit: www.commoncorestandards.org
PART II: Curriculum Guide tomorrow
Darlene Beck Jacobson has loved writing since she was a girl. She also loves bringing the past to life in stories such as WHEELS OF CHANGE (Creston Books), her debut novel. Her stories have appeared in CICADA, CRICKET, and other magazines. Her blog features recipes, activities, crafts and interviews with children’s book authors and illustrators. She still loves writing and getting letters. Check out her website at: http://www.darlenebeckjacobson.com
WHEELS OF CHANGE is due out on September 22, 2014.