Bleachers Literature Guide, John Grisham

Julie Faulkner
Grade Levels
9th - 12th, Homeschool
Formats Included
  • Zip
250 pages
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Julie Faulkner


In this 3-4 week novel unit plan for Bleachers, Grisham's captivating writing style along with the fast-paced plot and richly dynamic characters will captivate even your most reluctant readers.

Whether your students are football fans or not, boys or girls, this literature guide has something for everyone! Grisham has masterfully crafted a text that models writers' techniques so subtly and organically - making this text a beautiful choice as a modern, fictional exemplar. Its narrative is one that certainly speaks to teens today, and this unit is the product of classroom experience and has been years in development.

This unit plan is designed to take your students through Bleachers in a way that the novel comes alive. Students study and dig into the text with the carefully crafted questions on the active reading guides, and you will be confident that key standards are being addressed. From the modern connections provided such as a Tweet for Me summarizing exercise to the informational text readings that bring in the medical and historically significant side of the novel, students will recognize the importance of this text as critical in their world. Several classic poetry pairings drive your students toward thinking about the novel's poignant themes in the characters' lives as well as their own. Various other interactive, hands-on, and creative activities will provide you with many ways to engage your students and have them take ownership of their own learning in this three to four week unit plan. All the basics are here, too: reading quizzes, grammar worksheets, journal prompts, vocabulary, final exam, and final project prompts. You can use it all or just use some. This unit in its entirety touches every CCSS writing standard, many literature and info text standards, digital media standards for speaking and listening, and several language standards. Each resource is matched with its standards throughout the pack. Plus, many of the files are editable format, so you can make this material work for you!

No worries if you don't have a copies of this novel - I've included live links to the text- all for FREE! That's the perfect solution whether you are a paper school or Google Drive school!


Pre-reading PPT presentation

Vocabulary list, sentences, and quiz for every chapter, editable

Active reading graphic organizers for every chapter, PDF and editable

Pop reading quizzes, editable

Figurative language worksheets for every chapter

Grammar workouts, editable

Characterization worksheets

Close reading with paired ELA skill for every chapter

Role playing prompts, PDF and editable

Four paired info text lessons (Heatstroke, true heroes, Brown v. Board court case, real injured athlete)

Three paired poetry lessons (“To an Athlete Dying Young”; “A Dream Deferred”; “The Guy in the Glass”)

Classroom posters

Interactive Plot Review Game, PDF and editable

Final Exam, editable

Short Research Project and Presentation

Essay Topic, editable

Short Prompts for Each Chapter, editable

Other Bonus activities

Great Design

Click: Take a tour of my unit guides on Instagram.

Check out more of my literature units:

American Literature Full Curriculum

Soldier's Home

The Pedestrian





I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

Rose for Emily

To Build a Fire


Fahrenheit 451

Lord of the Flies

More Football and Sports Goodies:

Sports Coloring

Nonfiction Sports Hazing Info Text Article

Nonfiction Coaches Behavior Info Text Article, Included in the Bleachers Unit

Boys of Fall Poetry Lesson, Included in the Bleachers Unit

Super Bowl Commercial Analysis

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For more ideas and inspiration:

Faulkner's Fast Five Blog



Julie's Classroom Stories on Facebook

Teaching Tidbits Newsletter with Email-Only Freebies

Original Cover Photography by Julie Faulkner Photography

Terms of Use: Please one classroom use only. Not to be shared online without proper security. Additional licenses sold at a discount at checkout.

Total Pages
250 pages
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
1 month
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to see state-specific standards (only available in the US).
Read closely to determine what the text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it; cite specific textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions drawn from the text.
Determine central ideas or themes of a text and analyze their development; summarize the key supporting details and ideas.
Analyze how and why individuals, events, and ideas develop and interact over the course of a text.
Interpret words and phrases as they are used in a text, including determining technical, connotative, and figurative meanings, and analyze how specific word choices shape meaning or tone.
Analyze the structure of texts, including how specific sentences, paragraphs, and larger portions of the text (e.g., a section, chapter, scene, or stanza) relate to each other and the whole.


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