Introduction Reading books in a series can be a truly enjoyable and fulfilling experience. Not only do you get to spend more time with beloved characters and dive deeper into intricate plots, but readers also gain a sense of familiarity and continuity that can add to their overall understanding and enjoyment of the story. In this blog post, we’ll explore characteristics of books in a series, the key benefits of reading them, and how Follett supports classrooms with everything educators need to increase reading comprehension and confidence.
Characteristics of Books in a Series Books in a series share several common characteristics like recurring characters, consistent story structure, and similar settings across titles. While the plot changes with each new book, the characters and their relationships remain the same. Some series do not carry a plot across one book to the next, like The Magic Treehouse books have common characters but can be read in any order. Additionally, books in a series often share a consistent vocabulary, page length, trim size, and reading level.
Benefits Books in a series offer several benefits to readers, including helping them achieve reading success, engaging striving or struggling readers, and supporting social and emotional learning.
Books in a series can be particularly engaging for striving readers. The familiarity of the characters and the predictable plot structures provide a safety net that makes the books less intimidating than other books. The consistency in vocabulary and story structure also supports readers in their comprehension of the text and increase reading achievement.
Even without being explicitly taught story structure, young readers can learn about story elements such as character development, setting, and plot through exposure to books in a series. They also provide background knowledge for reading new books in the series, which frees up cognitive demand and allows for increased comprehension.
Reading books in a series supports fluency development in a similar way that repeatedly reading the same story does. The more familiar readers become with the story and vocabulary, the easier it is for them to read the text fluently. The language and vocabulary is transferred to reading outside of the series. Success in reading contributes to motivation, as students are more likely to read when they feel successful.
Books in a series can also support social and emotional learning (SEL) by helping readers understand and empathize with the characters. As readers become invested in the characters and their stories, they can learn valuable lessons about empathy, relationships, and emotions.
Conclusion Books in a series have many benefits for young readers. From supporting reading achievement and fluency development to engaging struggling readers and supporting social and emotional learning, the predictability and familiarity of books in a series make them an excellent tool for helping children develop their reading skills and foster a love of learning. Whether they’re reading for pleasure or education, books in a series can provide young readers with a sense of comfort and security that can help them succeed in school and in life.
Be sure to explore our new Books in a Series landing page designed to help you easily discover titles students want to read.
Lori Woods Lori Woods is a master’s level educator with ten years of classroom experience, primarily teaching Grade 3. Most recently, she taught for six years at an International Baccalaureate school, where she served on the IB reauthorization team, ELA pilot team, and technology committee. Lori also presented at the 2021 IB Global Conference. When she’s not working, she enjoys crafting and spending time with her family. Lori lives in South Central Pennsylvania with her husband, three children, and two dogs.
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