How to Modernize Novel Studies with Google Sites

Digital novel studies give kids audio-visual experiences that paper and pencil just can’t provide. Take your students on a five-minute virtual field trip. Show a photo to illustrate a concept. Let them hear the sound an animal makes. Now, you can deepen and enrich your students’ novel experience with a click of a finger. Kids love the sensory smorgasbord of videos, photos, and sound clips.

This novel study, created for Little House in the Big Woods, includes a pictorial dictionary.

With just a little knowledge of Google Sites, I created a digital novel study for Little House in the Big Woods. If I can do it, you can too!

Organizing Digital Novel Studies

Before I began my website, an organizational scheme was needed. Did I want one page for each chapter? What questions, vocabulary, and/or other literary skills did I want them to explore? I decided to include guiding questions, figurative language, vocabulary, and extensions on each chapter page.

Digital Novel Studies with Google Sites 2

In the extensions, I linked videos that would give kids a better look at pioneer life. But I wanted them to see more. Therefore, for each chapter, I added a visual dictionary.

Digital Novel Studies with Google Sites 3

When I was in school, the teacher always said, “Look it up in the dictionary.” But trying to interpret the definitions was tough. Often I didn’t really understand the word any better. A visual dictionary is different. Kids can actually see what the word means.

You can take a peek at the entire first chapter here.

Using Digital Novel Studies

Flexible Instruction Options

This format worked beautifully in my classroom. Depending on the day – or the group – delivery varied. For example, if I wanted kids to work in small groups, they could access the material on their Chromebooks and have a nice chat. When I thought they needed more guidance, I displayed the website and we discussed as a class.

The Paperless Classroom

As time went on, I realized that everything could be done online. When I inserted jpegs of student sheets into the background of Google Slides, kids could respond on their Chromebooks.

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As a TpT seller, I know teachers like flexibility, so I included links to both printable pdfs and paperless Google Slides in a separate website for the teacher.

Google Sites Modernize Teaching and Learning

Read more to learn 20 ways to revolutionize teaching with Google Sites.

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