Tuesday, July 24, 2018

GUEST POST: "How to Create a Teacher’s Guide for Your Middle Grade Novel" by Melody J. Bremen

A great way to make your middle grade novel accessible for classroom use is to create a downloadable teacher’s guide. You can easily put this together in a Word doc and save it as a PDF.

Look for inspiration:

The first thing you want to do is look at guides for other novels to get a feel for what kind of content you’ll want to include.

Here are some websites of middle grade authors where you can find great guides to look at. I found these helpful, but you may want to look elsewhere.

Some of them are listed on their own page, usually labeled “For Teachers,” or something along those lines. Others have them on the book page.

Page 1:

Now that you are properly inspired, you can begin. On the first page of the guide, you will want to include:

1.       An image of the book cover
2.       A synopsis of the book
3.       An author photo
4.       An author bio

On the next page(s):

On the next page or few pages, you will want to include different recourse and activities that a teacher would be able to use in her class.

Discussion Questions

One of the things you will find in nearly every teacher’s guide is a list of discussion questions. These questions should be open-ended and thought-provoking. Ask questions that are not found in the explicit text of the novel, but rather implied. These sort of questions will start with the words, “What do you think…” or, “How did the character feel when…” or, “What did you learn from…”

You can also ask the students to apply the situations in the story to themselves. “What would you do if…” or “What would your reaction be if…”

You should aim for a list of about 10-15 questions.


Next, you may want to include several activities that a teacher can do with her class. This can be an arts-and-crafts project, a performance, a writing, or a presentation that ties into the novel.

Further Reading

If you’re book focuses on a certain topic – like sports, or animals, or music – you can list a few books on that same topic, either fiction or non-fiction, so anyone who is interested in that subject can find more books to read.

You can also include a list of your other books so any of the children who enjoyed the book can read of your work.

And More

There’s no need to stop there. Use your creativity and see what else you can come up with. Try to put yourself in the teacher’s shoes and think of something engaging that you would like to do with a class of middle schoolers. Or, even better, put yourself in the student’s shoes and think of something fun you wish you could’ve done when you were in school.

Now what?

Now you can upload the file to your website. Create a page for all your teacher’s guides or add a link on each book page so educators can download the PDF and… voilà, you’ve now enabled your book to be used in an entirely new way.

Melody J. Bremen has written several novels for middle grade readers and one fantasy novel for young adult, The Prince of Korin. She lives in New Jersey with her family and a faithful computer named Oswald. Find out more and sign-up for Melody’s email newsletter at:


Prince Endomer of Korin is not a hero. Nor does he want to be one.

He spends his days in the royal library, poring over old manuscripts, studying archaic languages and playing chess. He’s never been like Krollis, his fearless twin brother, who is an expert swordsman and hunts wild beasts in the forests.

When an army of vizzens, the fearsome old enemy of Korin, attacks from the east and Krollis disappears, Endomer is left in charge of the country. He struggles to find a way to save his people while his soldiers are dying and his citizens are forced to flee. As he fights to gain the respect of the palace court, he discovers a threat coming from within the palace walls. There is no one he can trust.
He isn’t only fighting for his country – he’s fighting for his life.

This is Book 1 of 2 in The Kingdom of Korin Series. 

1 comment:

Thanks for stopping by, Esteemed Reader! And thanks for taking the time to comment. You are awesome.