Integrating Novels Into Any Subject

by | Jul 25, 2019 | Teaching Strategies | 0 comments

Hi everyone! Welcome back! 

Today is video six in my series of using novels in the classroom. 

In this video, I talk about how to integrate novels into any subect area, not just language arts. 

Want to watch the entire series now? You can! Click on this link to see all the videos!

See the video below!

Transcription of Video

Hi, I’m Amy Mezni from TeachingIdeas4U and I’m here today on day six of my series on teaching with novels to talk to you about how to integrate novels into any subject and why you should.

I did some reading and research on, perhaps subjects that we don’t normally think of as using novels. And I actually found out that teachers are getting a great result from using novels as core curriculum and classes like math.

So let’s talk today about, you know, how you can make that work and the benefits that teachers are seeing. I’m going to go ahead and pull this up. Okay.

So why should teachers have, perhaps nontraditional reading subjects like not language arts? Why should they go ahead and use novels? Well, teachers are reporting that they’re seeing kids really improve their core skills when they purposely find books that integrate the topic that they’re teaching with the storyline.

So, you know, you get better engagement and through that engagement, students are improving skills. Who are you engaging? You’re engaging those kids who already come into your class thinking they don’t like the subject.

We’ve all had those kids, they either think social studies is boring or doesn’t apply to them or they hate math. They’re just not good at math or they don’t like science.

So, you know, sometimes you catch these kids who love to read, but they think they don’t like any of these other subjects. And then they get wrapped up in the story and they improve their core skills through the story.


I taught elementary and I taught in middle school and high school history. So I gave you some examples of history books here. Like American history has got tons and tons, tons.

Some really common ones that are used are Giant Chermaine. My brother Sam Is Dead. Those are both like revolutionary times. Um, this is our constitution for us. Constitution chains was, feels with slavery. I found some books that integrated China red scarf girl.

Revolutionary Revolution is Not a Dinner Party. The Good Earth. These are all books that deal with like Communist China. But you know, for me to help you say, come up with math or science is not my specialty. So I have some suggestions for you.

My suggestion honestly is if you use Facebook, find yourself this subject that you teach. So I know, um, I know the AP classes are great and having their own little Facebook groups, but there’s a wonderful middle school social studies group.

There’s another high school social studies group that’s really good. And the teachers in there always making suggestions or asking, getting suggestions for what novels would be good to go with this unit or what books do you use for this? Or even like an article versus a book. So I’m sure there’s math groups or science groups and you just have to find them.

Um, and if you find one that’s not very active, look for another, there are so many Facebook groups, but the key is to find the one that’s really active. If you don’t use Facebook. Twitter I think is another place that especially secondary teachers can find.

Good examples are good suggestions. Instagram is pretty good. Again, I follow more of the upper elementary, maybe middle school groups. Um, but there’s teachers always making book recommendations on Instagram as well.

So for your subject area, if you’d like to get started, my suggestion is to find yourself a group. Um, I wanted to put these up, oops, oops, my article. This was the best article I found for the math teachers.

And, or if you’re not math, but you want to really understand how did the math teacher use a novel? It actually talks about a high school, I think it was calculus and an Algebra in middle school.

And so this was a great article. If you’re on your phone, go ahead and take a screenshot, but if you Google that, it’ll come right up. Um, but I found that article very interesting because they said the teachers and the article said that it actually benefited them a lot because student engagement went up, students’ skills improved.

And so it wasn’t like this waste of time to read a book. It actually improve the core skills. So I hope this was helpful to you. I hope you, you know, maybe had some ideas that maybe hadn’t thought of before.


Um, tomorrow I’m going to talk about how to organize and prepare for a novel study. So if you’re new to using novel studies or you’re looking for some tips and tricks, I taught novels for 20 years and my teaching of novels came a long way. I made a lot of changes as I figured out what worked and what didn’t.

Tomorrow I’m going to give you the best tips that I have on how to teach with the novel, the make it go smoothly and make it actually targeted into what you want the kids to be able to do. So I hope you like this and I hope that you’ll come back tomorrow.

After that I have one more on assessment and if you’ve missed the previous sessions, then you can still find them. They’re on my blog or they’re on my youtube page.

But again, I’m Amy Mezni and my store and my blog are TeachingIdeas4U. Connect with me on Facebook, Youtube, Instagram, my blog or teachers pay teachers.

I’m glad you came and I hope this was helpful to you.

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Integrating Novels Into Any Subject