Novel Study

Mr. Popper's Penguins
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Hmmm . . . .

What type of penguin in Capitan Cook? You can quit flipping pages, it isn’t in the book. With a little research about penguins, a bit of critical thinking and a touch of inferring, you CAN figure it out. Take your students on a journey of deep thinking and interaction with the text and their world using this novel study for Mr. Popper’s Penguins

Thinking While Reading

As with all my novel studies, schema activation, predictions, space to record independent thinking, journal prompts, get out of the book activities and personal reflection questions take the forefront with a few traditional comprehension questions sprinkled in here and there. Why do I write them that way? Because, children need the opportunity to do more than read the words written in a book. They need to spend time with it, roll the content around in their brains, and make decisions with and without the guidance of the teacher. Here’s your chance for adventure, let’s go!

What’s in a Novel Study?

Each novel study contains several sections and each section a variety of parts.


Getting Started & Wrap It Up

Open up and pull together your thinking with these two sections that occur only once in each study.

Comprehension Questions

While these questions may be more traditional, don’t expect them to be easy. Dig into the text to find the answers. 


While You are Reading

Metacognition – thinking about thinking – brings out a greater understanding of the content. 


Journal Your Thoughts

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Get Out of the Book

Research, create, try something new – this part of each novel study section is about digging deeper and discovering more than what the text directly states. 

What About You?

Use these prompts to create connections, form & defend an opinion and consider your own characteristics & actions and compare yourself to 

Similar Novel Studies

Want a suggestion for another study? Have an idea for us?
Here are a couple of suggestions and a way to share your idea with us. 

The Penderwicks

How much trouble can four girls, one boy, a dog and two rabbits cause in three weeks? If you’re the Penderwicks, the answer is plenty. Help your students lose themselves in this fun, action packed novel. 


Is a dream a wish your heart makes or is it a thing of its own blown into your room by giants? Explore the world of dreams, kidnapping and giants through Roald Dahl’s classic novel The BFG.

Have an Idea?

What book does your family want to read? Send Us Your Request for a New Novel Study


Note: Though we would love to turn every book into a novel study, each study takes a significant amount of time. Please be aware that though all recommendations will be considered, not all can be accomplished.

*Some product links on are affiliate links meaning we may earn a small commission from the sale of certain items without changing the price for you. AKW Squared, Inc. – the parent company of Smart Simple Homeschool – is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program and will earn a referral commission on products purchased through these links.