Help with gifted LA titles

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by Mrs. R., Jul 10, 2007.

  1. Mrs. R.

    Mrs. R. Connoisseur

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    Jul 10, 2007

    I am taking over the seventh grade gifted LA section this year, and I'm on the lookout for new books to use with the class. I know the teacher last year used the following books with them, among others:

    Chew on This/Fast Food Nation
    Huck Finn
    The Pearl
    Various Ann Rinaldi novels (lit circles)
    Kindred
    Night

    I will use some of these titles, but I really want to expand my options. I have lots of leeway in choosing titles, but my problem is that they are SEVENTH graders, and much of the material that would challenge them is age-inappropriate.

    SO...those of you who teach freshman or sophomore literature classes, do you have any titles that would be good to use with gifted seventh graders? Especially those without too much sex, drug use or profanity?

    Thanks in advance for your help!
     
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  3. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Jul 10, 2007

    I haven't read this in years, so you'd have to check for appropriateness, but what about Member of the Wedding by Carson McCullers?

    Have they read The Diary of Anne Frank?

    Freak the Mighty is an excellent book for discussion, though the reading level is not necessarily high.

    Check out the books by Joan Bauer. The style and subject matter as told from the perspective of a teen should appeal. One title is Hope Was Here.
     
  4. Mrs. R.

    Mrs. R. Connoisseur

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    Jul 10, 2007

    Thanks, Upsadaisy. I appreciate the input.
    Anne Frank is a possibility, but I have a hard time getting through that book, so I'm not sure I'll teach that one. We do use Freak the Mighty for our Fitting In book clubs, so some of them will read that. The Joan Bauer books are an interesting idea. I have several of them; I'll have to re-read them this summer.
     
  5. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    It isn't very easy to find books to challenge your group that are still appropriate. What about Sounder and Where the Red Fern Grows? Have you read Konigsburg's The View From Saturday? It might be a possibility.
     
  6. Mrs. R.

    Mrs. R. Connoisseur

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    Where the Red Fern Grows is a sixth grade book in our district. I do like Konigsburg's books, especially the Outcasts of 19 Schuyler Place.

    I'm also trying to remember what I read as a freshman in high school. It was over 20 years ago, though!
     
  7. Weazy

    Weazy Comrade

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    Jul 10, 2007

    What about To Kill a Mockingbird orThe Outsiders? My students enjoyed reading both of these books.
     
  8. Mrs. R.

    Mrs. R. Connoisseur

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    Mockingbird is an 8th grade title in our school. All of the seventh graders read Outsiders. The kids do love it.

    Thanks for the suggestions!
     
  9. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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  10. jojo808

    jojo808 Comrade

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    Jul 11, 2007

    When I taught 8th grade, we read "Nothing But the Truth" by Avi. It is an excellent book to discuss point of view, individual rights, freedoms, hysteria, and much more.
     
  11. CanadianTeacher

    CanadianTeacher Groupie

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    How about just adjusting your activities, discussions, and how you analyze the books to make them more challenging? Sometimes it's not the material but what you do with it. I did "That was Then, This is Now" with my sevenths graders. You could do a lot of challenging things with that as there are a lot of themes in it to explore, yet it's still age-appropriate.
     
  12. Heathermeister

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    Jul 11, 2007

    I remembered reading "The Great Gatsby" in the 9th grade. It is a 7.3 reading level, but I think it's pretty advanced.

    My daughter's 8th grade teacher recommended Night, Scarlet Letter, Roll of thunder Hear my cry, and The Green Mile

    You can also view the recommended California reading list on http://crl.startest.org/home.do;jsessionid=EKJRPVCQUXQZS4SFZ5VSAZA You can browse by grade level. This might give you some more ideas for books.
     
  13. Mrs. R.

    Mrs. R. Connoisseur

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    That's what I plan on doing with most of the books. I guess part of the problem is that I am bored with the novel options that I have, since I've been teaching some of them for 15 years now. The EXCEL program has a separate budget, so it would be easier for me to buy new materials for that class than for my regular LA class.
     
  14. Mrs. R.

    Mrs. R. Connoisseur

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    Oh....I forgot about Gatsby. I'll reread that one this summer. Maybe I could do that with the kids when they are studying the twenties in social studies.
    Thanks for the link to the CA reading list. I'll go check it out!
     
  15. Heathermeister

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