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The project, “Challenge Novels” is an ongoing success across the 2nd grade at Melrose Elementary School. This project has the potential to serve 125 students across 5 classrooms each year. This year, the Harrisburg School District adopted a new reading curriculum at the elementary level. While getting to know the curriculum, it was brought to our attention that there are challenge novels associated with each unit. We took that as an opportunity to build literature circles in our classrooms. The literature circles meet for 30 minutes a day to read and discuss the novels. There is an independent work packet that aligns with each challenge novel. The novels are designed for students to use their higher level thinking skills while also working as a group. The “Challenge Novel” project has not only helped build the classroom community across second grade, but it has helped to challenge students needing an extra push. We will continue to use these books year after year to support our students.

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