Friday, February 24, 2012

TGIF: Required Reading

TGIF is a weekly blog feature hosted by Ginger at G Reads. Each Friday, she proposes a question for her followers and recaps the week's posts. This week's question is:

Required Reading: Which books from your school days do you remember reading & enjoying? Is there a book published now that you'd like to see in today's curriculum for kids?

This is a definitely a question that I am very familiar with since I teach high school English, as some of you might know. When I was in school, we read a few books that I loved, including: Roll of Thunder, Hear my Cry; The Great Gatsby; To Kill a Mockingbird; The Giver; The Great Gilly Hopkins; and The Outsiders.

There are tons of books that should be in every curriculum, but unfortunately, there are time and budget constraints to think about, not to mention cramming in preparation for standardized testing (but that's another story). I love when we can add YA books to our curriculum and think every school should strive for a mix of classics and YA, which we do. Classics are great, but too many of them can be overwhelming.

In terms of actual books, I wholeheartedly think every ninth grade student should read Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson, not just girls, as is often the case. I think historical fiction really reaches kids too, especially ones that take place from World War I to the 60's. Right now, my freshman English class is reading a YA book that takes place during the Great Depression and they love it. In that vein, Maus by Art Spiegelman would be a great addition to a curriculum, especially since it is a graphic novel and as teachers, we need to explore all genres of literature. Students in my district's middle school also read The Hunger Games, which I think is pretty bold and interesting. The kids love it, of course.

I know I just wrote a book, but as you can tell, I feel very strongly about this subject! I could talk curriculum and literature for hours :)

This week's posts
The Beginning of After by Jennifer Castle
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
The Future of Us by Jay Asher & Carolyn Mackler

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