Practice close reading with IXL’s book study skills

IXL has a new topic in middle school English language arts: book study skills

These skills support instruction for critically acclaimed novels and nonfiction books, including The Giver, A Long Walk to Water, and many more. Each book has two accompanying IXL skills, which cover the first and second halves of the story.

IXL book study skills

Build essential literacy skills 

IXL’s book study skills invite students to immerse themselves in a passage from a book, analyze the text, and answer questions to demonstrate their understanding. Along the way, learners will develop important reading comprehension and critical thinking skills that are valuable for English classes and beyond. 

If you’re covering a book in your classroom, our skills can help minimize your lesson planning and let you focus on instruction. For example, teachers can assign Part 1 skills as pre-reading activities to excite students and introduce them to the story. After your class has finished the book, use the skills to guide post-reading discussions about major themes and events.

Teacher tip: Students can use the Scratchpad, available on mobile and desktop, to highlight and annotate text!

Spark a love of reading 

Even if you’re not planning to include the full texts in your curriculum, you can still assign our book study skills to help students practice reading and analyzing passages. They’ll also learn important historical context, background information, and fun facts about the work they’re reading. 

These skills might even inspire your learners to read one of the books on their own!

Explore some of IXL’s new reading skills for yourself: 

Grade 6: 

Grade 7: 

Grade 8: 

Stay tuned for more skills covering popular novels and nonfiction books coming soon!