Lesson plan

Exploring the Features of a Book Series

Students will engage their analytical skills and literacy skills as they compare books within a series. The central activity in this lesson will have students identifying, comparing, and contrasting the shared features of books in a series.
Need extra help for EL students? Try theIdentifying Character and SettingPre-lesson.
EL Adjustments
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Need extra help for EL students? Try theIdentifying Character and SettingPre-lesson.

Students will be able to identify the features that all books in a series share.

Students will be able to compare and contrast the main features of books in a series: genre, location, time period and problem.

The adjustment to the whole group lesson is a modification to differentiate for children who are English learners.
EL adjustments
(5 minutes)
Using a Chart to Compare Books in a Series
  • Ask students to share their favorite book series and why they like it. If you have some dramatic students they could do an impromptu commercial for the series.
(10 minutes)
  • Select two books in the same series for this part of the lesson. It would be helpful if the class is familiar with one or both of them (a former read aloud, a popular series, etc.).
  • Read the summary on the back (or inside jacket) of both of the books aloud to the class.
  • Ask students to identify what they think makes a group of books a “series.” Ensure that they list: same characters, same/similar setting, same point in time, same author.
  • Do books need to have all of these criteria to be a series? (answer: usually yes, but sometimes the setting will change and sometimes the characters as well, but not the main character. Rarely, there will be different authors).
(10 minutes)
  • Project the Using a Chart to Compare Books in a Series worksheet so the whole class can see your writing as you review the instructions and model the exercise using the two books that you featured in the Explicit Instruction/Teacher Modeling phase of this lesson.
  • After you are done filling out the first two rows using two books in the series you selected as an example, distribute the worksheet to each student.
(20 minutes)
  • Have students find three or four books in a series that they have read recently or in previous, younger grades. Reading level doesn’t matter - a first or year three book is fine!

  • Instruct students to go through their books, just as you did, and determine the appropriate information for each of the columns on the sheet.


  • Have students work in pairs, or fill out the compare and contrast sheet for only two books in the series.
  • Have students use picture books and actually read the books prior to filling out the compare and contrast sheet.


  • Have students select more challenging texts.
  • Have students complete the exercise twice, using two different series and compare data across series.
  • Have students answer the Reflection and Connection section at the bottom.
(5 minutes)
  • Circulate the room and observe student work. Support and reteach when necessary.
  • Collect and grade the sheets if desired.
(10 minutes)
  • Discuss the Reflection and Connection questions on the sheet.

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