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July 5, 2024

Go “Beyond the Book” in a Brand New Series

Have you ever read a Young Adult (YA) text, and known from the minute you finished it that it would be the perfect book to teach in your classroom? And then, after the euphoria of reading an awesome novel and imagining yourself leading a dynamic unit about it fades, you start to wonder: but how could I teach it? 

You start a Googling frenzy, searching for lesson plan ideas and you even consider purchasing a Teachers Pay Teachers bundle because it’s the only resource you can find for teaching THAT book. The awesome book. The cool one. The one your students would love as much as you do. 

How do we facilitate engaging novel studies, and when we find a good text, how do we have the time to craft a unit of study with engaging, relevant learning activities that we could implement starting next week without staying up until midnight trying to prepare? 

To put it simply: how do we help our students go beyond the book without going beyond our capacity?

These were the questions swirling around in my head when I designed the brand-new Teaching Channel Beyond the Book Series. As a former classroom teacher, I knew I wanted to craft a course that took work off teacher’s plates rather than add to them. I wanted to create dynamic resources that could be used by teachers the very next day, and I wanted to design them around texts that were timely, engaging, and accessible to young adults. Not to mention, I wanted teachers to complete their unit preparation while simultaneously earning graduate credit—a two-for-one! 

Each Beyond the Book course centers around a dynamic young adult (YA) text, and walks educators through each step of the unit planning process. From crafting essential questions all the way to designing a summative assessment, and all the scaffolded steps in between, the purpose of each Beyond the Book course is for you to walk away with the tools you need to facilitate a successful novel study…prep already complete! 

What’s more, each course provides more than 30 instructional activities and resources woven throughout that can be applied to the course-specific YA text, but can be remixed and adapted to fit a variety of other units of study or texts that you teach as well.  

That way, you can take the activities from the Beyond the Book series beyond the course, too. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Can I take more than one? 

Absolutely! While each course in the Beyond the Book Series has a similar unit design structure, the instructional activities and resources are specific to each YA text. 

Do I need to be an ELA teacher to take it? 

Not at all! Beyond the Book courses are also relevant for social studies teachers (Stamped, Born a Crime), science teachers (Braiding Sweetgrass), or any teacher from any content area looking for engaging instructional strategies to liven up a novel study.

Will it be relevant for me even if I don’t have plans to teach that specific YA text? 

Yes! Even if you don’t plan on teaching these specific texts, the courses are still excellent opportunities to analyze an interesting and engaging novel!

What book options do you currently have available in the Beyond the Book series?

TITLEStamped: Racism, Antiracism, and YouBraiding Sweetgrass for Young AdultsIt’s Trevor Noah: Born a Crime Adapted for Young Readers
AUTHORJason Reynolds & Ibram X. KendRobin Wall Kimmerer & Monique Gray SmithTrevor Noah
CONTEXTA young adult book about the history of racist ideas in America, 
emphasizing the importance of antiracism and empowering young people to 
challenge racism and its omission from our traditional history books.
Through stories and 
reflections, this young adult book teaches about Indigenous wisdom, science, and plants, while also emphasizing the interconnectedness of humans and nature and the need for a sustainable future.
This book documents Trevor Noah’s humorous childhood experiences growing up mixed-race during 
apartheid South Africa while simultaneously exploring the parallels between apartheid South Africa and the U.S. civil rights movement.
CONTENT AREASocial studies, ethnic studies, U.S. history, language artsScience, language arts, U.S. history, ethnic studiesSocial studies, ethnic studies, world history, language arts
FUN FACTThis book is co-authored by highly acclaimed author, Jason ReynoldsThis book includes BEAUTIFUL illustrations by Nicole Niedhardt.This book includes a very humorous story about poop that students will enjoy.

Ready to take your novel studies to the next level? Go beyond your current instructional strategies and check out the courses in the Beyond the Book Series! 

5330: Beyond the Book: Creating a Comprehensive Unit for Stamped

5331: Beyond the Book: Creating a Comprehensive Unit for Braiding Sweetgrass

5332: Beyond the Book: Creating a Comprehensive Unit for Born a Crime

Stay tuned for more, as we continue to add texts to the Beyond the Book Series!


About the Author

Julie Kuntz holds a B.A. in English and a Master’s in Education. Drawing on her years as a Middle School ELA Teacher, Julie develops content that is practical and highly engaging! Additionally, she is passionate about fostering equity in schools.

Fun Fact: Julie and her husband own a custom home renovation company, Custom by Kuntz!

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