One of the best parts of teaching a work of literature is how many exciting ways there are to tackle one book. High school English teachers can focus on standards-based learning, identification of literary elements, the practice of close reading, or the exciting art of storytelling, to name a few.

To help you achieve your teaching goals, Prestwick House has developed over 1,000 ready-to-use literature guides that use a variety of techniques. Whether you want help structuring your lessons, creative activities that your students will be talking about for weeks, or focused direction on teaching literary theory, Prestwick House Literature Teaching Guides were made for busy teachers like you.

Learn more about our most popular high school English literature resources below! Want to save this post for later? Download it as a PDF!

Literature Teaching Units

Prestwick House Literature Teaching Units will save you hours of valuable prep time. Teaching Units have everything you need to teach a text, including grade-appropriate objectives, discussion and essay questions, a chapter-by-chapter study guide with vocabulary and reading questions, and a summative assessment.

Whether you’re a tenured expert, a new teacher, or somewhere in between, Literature Teaching Units support you to develop your best literature unit yet in a fraction of the time. And with Literature Teaching Units for over 300 different titles, you’re sure to find one for every book you want to teach.

What's in each Literature Teaching Unit:

  • Clear learning objectives for identifying themes, exploring symbolism, analyzing character motivation, and more
  • Vocabulary words and definitions included for each chapter or scene of the text
  • Discussion and essay questions to encourage a deeper understanding of the text
  • A chapter-by-chapter study guide to lead students through a close reading of the book
  • A comprehensive summative assessment with multiple-choice and essay questions

AP Literature Teaching Units

It’s not easy to prepare high school students for the AP* exam while also planning daily lessons that engage students in literary analysis and close readings of a text. AP Literature Teaching Units do that prep work for you. Thanks to a comprehensive introductory lecture and a chapter-by-chapter study guide, you’ll have everything you need to make sure your students get the most out of their reading. Additionally, the free-response and multiple-choice questions modeled after the AP exam will give your students the confidence they need to score 5s on test day.

What's in each AP Literature Teaching Unit:

  • Clear academic learning objectives focused on identifying themes, exploring symbolism, analyzing character motivation, and more
  • Guidance for introducing the literary work including historical context, notes on the author’s style, literary elements unique to the text, and more
  • Discussion and essay questions to encourage a deeper understanding of the text
  • Practice free-response and multiple-choice questions to prepare students for what they will see on the AP Literature and Composition Exam
  • A chapter-by-chapter study guide with detailed answer key to direct students’ understanding of themes, literary techniques, and rhetorical devices

Activity Packs

Make studying literature fun and effective with Prestwick House Activity Packs. These ready-to-use resources are a treasure trove of activities for exploring a variety of literary elements, such as theme, symbolism, characterization, allusion, and imagery. Students will write poetry, compare authors’ styles, draw cartoons, act out scenes, create collages, and use graphic organizers. Activity Packs have something for everyone, from advanced learners to reluctant readers.

Each Prestwick House Activity Pack contains over 30 activities with learning objectives that fulfill your teaching goals:

  • Analyzing and critiquing a narrative
  • Distinguishing fact from opinion
  • Developing analytical skills through inference
  • Interpreting the thoughts and language of a character
  • Understanding allusions
  • Identifying figurative language
  • And more!

Levels of Understanding

Challenge your students to go beyond fact recall with questions in five learning domains—Comprehension, Reader Response, Analysis, Synthesis, and Evaluation. Each book in the Levels of Understanding series breaks down complex questions into smaller parts so that students develop the skills needed to evaluate literature critically and with increasing independence. Build your students’ literary analysis and evaluation skills with the Levels of Understanding series.

What's in each Levels of Understanding book:

  • An extensive introduction to the text to build historical context for a deeper understanding
  • Chapter-by-chapter scaffolding questions to work toward higher-order thinking skills
  • A teacher’s answer key with detailed answer explanations
  • Writing prompts for higher domain-specific evaluation

Multiple Critical Perspectives

Prestwick House Multiple Critical Perspectives will introduce students to the vast possibilities of literary theory. Each title-specific guide helps you introduce three literary theories, with background and guidance on how to approach any text. Then, students work through activities to explore the text and analyze passages from each perspective.

What's in each Multiple Critical Perspectives guide:

  • Text introduction and synopsis to provide historical context
  • Clear explanations of three literary theories including background information, essential questions, and primary areas of study
  • Individual and group activities based on the text to guide your students through a discovery-based approach

Response Journals

Get your students writing every day. Response Journals include dozens of writing prompts that will encourage your students to express themselves, reflect on what they’ve read, and support their ideas with textual evidence. Each Response Journal also includes a cumulative test focused on reading comprehension. With more than 200 Response Journals available, your students will never run out of great writing opportunities.

Response Journal writing prompts include:

  • Making text-to-self connections
  • Writing letters to characters
  • Making inferences about the text
  • Writing original poetry
  • Developing dialogues and short scenes
  • Explaining your reactions to events in the book
  • And more!

Instant Short Story Packs

Prestwick House Instant Short Story Packs give you everything you need for a 2–3 day short story unit in a single, ready-to-use download. Whether you want a short work to pair with a novel, you need a quick lesson plan for a substitute, or your anthology is missing your favorite classic tale like “The Cask of Amontillado” or “The Gift of the Magi,” there’s no easier way to develop a short story unit. We know that you’re busy; that’s why our Instant Short Story Packs include everything you need to teach your favorite tale, stress-free. See for yourself how easy it can be to add a new short story to your curriculum.

What’s in each Instant Short Story Pack:

  • Clear learning objectives for identifying themes, exploring symbolism, analyzing character motivation, and more
  • An introduction to the text providing historical context and author background
  • Reproducible copy of the unabridged text for reading and annotating
  • Standards-aligned classroom activities with graphic organizers and step-by-step instructions

Complete Teacher's Kits

With Complete Teacher’s Kits, it’s never been easier to build a library of great teaching resources for your favorite book. Get all three of our most essential teaching guides in one discounted set. Because all Prestwick House Literature Teaching Guides are designed to work together, you can build your literary unit to meet your students’ needs without hours of prep work.

Each Complete Teacher's Kit includes:

  • A Literature Teaching Unit
  • An Activity Pack
  • A Response Journal
  • Headlines Posters (for select titles)