Lesson Plan

Comparing and Contrasting Book Series

So many students love to read books in a series but they don't give much thought to what a series really is. In this lesson students discover the two kinds of book series and apply classifying criteria to examples in the library.
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Need extra help for EL students? Try the Sentence Structures for Summarizing pre-lesson.
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Need extra help for EL students? Try the Sentence Structures for Summarizing pre-lesson.

Learning Objectives

Students will be able to identify the two different kinds of book series and list the criteria used to classify them.

Students will be able to analyze a book series and classify it as episodic or epic.

The adjustment to the whole group lesson is a modification to differentiate for children who are English learners.
EL adjustments


(10 minutes)
Comparing Book SeriesKinds of Book Series
  • Explain that a series is a sequence of books that share the same author, main characters, and setting, and are identified as a group (usually numbered).
  • With students working in pairs or small groups, give them five minutes to generate as many examples of book series as they can (e.g., Harry Potter, Encyclopedia Brown, Magic Tree House).
  • After the time is up, have the group with the longest list share all of their titles.
  • Then, have each group share any that they think other groups may not have thought of.
  • Explain that today, they will be exploring books in a series. Ask students: Why do they think some authors create books in a series? Do any students prefer reading series vs. stand-alone novels? Why?


  • Provide one example of a book series for students before beginning the brainstorm.
  • Pre-teach the word "series" using a Frayer Model.


  • Allow students to talk to a peer in L1 or L2 before engaging in a whole class discussion.
  • Provide a sentence frame to support the discussion (e.g., "Authors create books in a series because ________. I prefer ________ because________.").