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October 04

Edward Stratemeyer, creator of book series such as Nancy Drew, was born on this day in 1862.

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Edward Stratemeyer, creator of book series such as Nancy Drew, was born on this day in 1862.

Grades 3 – 8
Calendar Activity Type Author & Text





Edward Stratemeyer was a series book author who began the Stratemeyer Literary Syndicate in 1905. He advertised for and hired authors who wrote from his outlines and signed an oath of secrecy. The Syndicate remained secret for many years. Using syndicate authors, Stratemeyer created the Hardy Boys and the Nancy Drew mysteries, among other series.





Have students select several books from the Hardy Boys, Nancy Drew, or another series to read. Students can use the Series Books resource from KidsReads.com to find an age-appropriate series that interests them.

Lead a discussion about the shared elements in the books. Have students use the 3-Circle Venn Diagram to compare character, plot, and setting in three books. How do these elements change across the series? In what ways do they remain the same?

Students can also outline their own series, as Stratemeyer did for his syndicate. Have students use the interactive Literary Elements Map to create the characters, settings, and plots for their series. Students can also plan how their characters will change and grow across the series using the Interactive Timeline. Have them select "other" as the unit of measure and type in "book." They can then note ways their characters will change and grow in each book of the series.




  • Edward Stratemeyer

    Information about Stratemeyer's life and writing can be found on this webpage.


  • The History of Nancy Drew

    This website contains an overview of the authors and the books in the Nancy Drew series. It also discusses Stratemeyer's syndicate and the roles of Stratemeyer's daughters in making the Nancy Drew series a success.


  • The Hardy Boys Online

    This site contains information about the characters, history, locations, and more from the Hardy Boys series. It also includes a map recording the Hardy Boys' many travels.


  • KidsReads.com: Series Books

    This site allows students to search for book series by name. Included for each series is a general overview of the series, related games and activities, and information about the author, titles, and characters.



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Grades   3 – 5  |  Lesson Plan  |  Standard Lesson

Mapping Characters Across Book Series

Students work on a guided characterization project, using a graphic map to illustrate the ways a character from a book series grows and evolves over the course of the story.


Grades   3 – 5  |  Lesson Plan  |  Standard Lesson

Inferring How and Why Characters Change

Students will really get into character when they read short stories and analyze the how's and why's of characters' behaviors.


Grades   K – 2  |  Lesson Plan  |  Recurring Lesson

A Journal for Corduroy: Responding to Literature

Connect home and school, literature and life, as students take a storybook character home with them and take turns writing stories about his visit.


Grades   6 – 8  |  Lesson Plan  |  Unit

Story Character Homepage

Students analyze personal homepages, as well as a character in a book they have read, and then create a homepage for the character.