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Novel studies are wonderful because it allows your students to start thinking critically about books and analyzing evidence in meaningful ways. However often students with autism are unable to participate in novel studies because they are not scaffolded correctly. That is why I’ve developed novel studies for students on the spectrum that can make the process more accessible.
Often students on the autism spectrum are more capable than we give them credit for. I have students who are able to express advanced thoughts through typing but not through speech. I have students who don’t process all language, but who are capable of advanced thoughts. Finding a way to make novel studies work for them can be a challenge. That is why whenever I create novel studies for students with autism. s.
My students who needed to learn to type about advanced concepts needed a lot of scaffolding. They weren’t able to engage with challenging academic material and typing at the same time at first. That is why in the beginning of their journey towards being able to type all their thoughts, we worked on making choices with their communication devices, then fill in the blank, sentence starters, and then finally free response.
However, in the meantime they still deserved engaging books that were appropriate for their internal thoughts. That is why I made these novel studies, to take away all the guesswork.
I have made novel studies for Artemis Fowl, Ella Enchanted, and The Secret Garden, that focus on vocabulary, opinion questions, inference making, and critical thinking. Each novel study bundle includes a free-response level, a sentence starter level, and a choices level, along with a vocabulary crossword.
To see all my products click here to visit my Teachers Pay Teachers store.
When you’re just starting out teaching kids to do academics with alternate communication methods, I highly recommend using choices, especially for novel studies.
Choices give your students an either-or option. They’re formatted so the options are on either side of the page.
While it might limit how much your students respond it makes the process of learning to think and communicate. This way is less demanding.
Often people hate doing choices because it doesn’t seem genuine, and it’s not perfect. However it’s only temporary. You won’t stay on choices forever.
However, don’t feel like you can only do simple material with choices. Choices can be used for complex topics as well.
Additionally, you can even give your students long answer questions in this format.
You can write the choices on the paper, have your students circle them, or spell out their response with whatever method they feel most comfortable with.
Click the title to see the Choices Novel Studies for students with Autism on my Teachers Pay Teachers store.
As your student progresses and starts to feel more comfortable they can move on to sentence starters, which give them the general idea of how to start what they’re saying and take some pressure off.
You can also feel free to give them the additional scaffold of filling in all but the keyword, so they can fill in the blank.
Sentence starters or fill in the blank are the next up on the communication level. It gives your students more freedom in choosing what to say. But takes off some of the burden of having to type out the whole thing.
Click the title to see the Sentence Starter Novel Studies for students with Autism on my Teachers Pay Teachers store.
This one is for students that are completely comfortable with their communication devices. They are responsible for coming up with all their own words and all their own thoughts.
I don’t recommend this for students who are brand new to novel studies, no matter how comfortable they are with their communication devices. This one is for your students who are familiar with both novel studies and their communication devices.
Remember to always go slow when starting new concepts.
These worksheets look exactly what students would get in a general education classroom. However, questions are structured in such a way that you don’t need whole-class discussions for students to do their own analysis and come up with their own ideas.
Click the title to see the Free Response Novel Studies for students with Autism on my Teachers Pay Teachers store.
Crossword puzzles are great regardless of what level your students are on. They have a bank of words to choose from, but still require higher level thinking.
They’ll keep your kids’ brains occupied, thinking about the more advanced vocabulary while making the process of selecting the vocabulary word easier.
Click the title to see Companion Crossword Puzzles on my Teachers Pay Teachers store.
Teaching novel studies to students with autism can be very daunting. It can feel like you have no guidance and as though it will take forever to prep.
I made these novel studies to take away some of the guesswork and give you back your prep time, and I hope you get as much use out of them as I have.
If there are other books you’d like to see me make novel studies for let me know in the comments and be sure to join my email list to stay up to date on my latest products.
If you need ideas on teaching simpler reading strategies click here!