Al Capone does Shirts Novel Study for Special Ed with comprehension questions


Total Pages 206 pages
Answer Key Included
Teaching Duration 1 month


Al Capone does Shirts by Gennifer Choldenko is the focus of this novel unit for students with autism and special learning needs. Have you ever wanted to read a novel to your special education students but thought, there is no way they will sit and listen? Persevere, it is worth it!! This 200+ page unit on the novel Al Capone does Shirts is designed for students who have significant disabilities and special learning needs. I was always reading a novel to my students, regardless of their learning level. The lesson of learning to sit while someone is talking is an invaluable skill that is worthwhile teaching.


This unit has various activities to accompany Choldenko’s book, Al Capone does Shirts. The materials were designed to allow students with multiple levels of learning to access and engage in lessons learned through listening to this novel. There are many opportunities for students to engage in repeated information on hearing this story about a boy who moves to Alcatraz with his family. He learns to navigate this new world and rules while also helping to care for his older sister who has autism. This repetition encourages deeper engagement of the book. Finally, many of activities include more than one version, suggestions for differentiation and options for presentation. There are one or more activities (40 different activities!!) to go with each chapter that will keep your students engaged while you read this novel aloud.

There are 2 complete files to go with this unit. One is in color and one is in BW.

***These chapters were really short, so I came up with 45 comprehension questions for the entire novel. Each question has 3 picture choices for answers. There is a key to reference which chapter each question comes from as well as an answer key.

See preview for the table of contents and a detailed look at what is included.


Al Capone does Shirts Unit Includes:

  • 206 pages of activities to accompany Al Capone does Shirts
  • Table of Contents
  • Suggestions for Use and Suggestions for Differentiation for activities
  • 40 activities (1 for each chapter)
  • 45 comprehension questions


There are so many benefits to reading out loud to your students. You will teach them an invaluable skill of learning to sit still while someone else is talking. Your parents will also LOVE you for not only teaching them this skill of sitting, but also for exposing them to age appropriate material. Plus, you never know which students you will touch with each story you read.

As always please take a moment to leave feedback or post any questions you may have. 

I am currently developing more units, and any feedback I get helps me make improvements in the future.

★★★ If you like using novels in your classroom, check out my many other novel studies.

I also have a blog post on reading novels to a low incidence class that includes some FREE SAMPLES:

Reading Novels to a Low Incidence Class