Novels with Swearing

Discussion in 'Middle School / Junior High' started by MissScrimmage, Sep 2, 2010.

  1. MissScrimmage

    MissScrimmage Enthusiast

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    Sep 2, 2010

    Just wondering how you handle novel studies where the novel has swearing in it. I'd love to teach "Bridge to Terabithia" or "Where the Red Fern Grows", and I'm allowed to, but how do you handle the minor swearing? Do parents have problems with it?

    Can you recommend any great novels for 6th graders that don't have swearing in them??
     
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  3. Mrs. R.

    Mrs. R. Connoisseur

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    Sep 2, 2010

    My daughter read Bridge to Terabithialast year as a third grader. It has been ages since I read it, so I didn't even know that there were swears in it! She never said a word. The sixth graders at my school read Red Fern. I've read books in seventh grade with some mild swearing, and I've never had a problem. No one has complained. I don't skip the word or make a big deal about it.
     
  4. MissScrimmage

    MissScrimmage Enthusiast

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    Sep 2, 2010

    In "Bridge to Terabithia" the dad says d*** at the beginning of the novel. It's pretty minor, and probably fairy easy to gloss over.
     
  5. JustMe

    JustMe Guru

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    Sep 4, 2010

    If I were reading Bridge aloud, I'd simply and seamlessly say darn opposed to the cuss word.
     
  6. agsrule!

    agsrule! Companion

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    Sep 18, 2010

    I wouldn't worry about it in middle school. I read the Outsiders every year with my 7th graders, and I read aloud the part where Johnny dies and Dally curses. It just wouldn't have the same emotion. Plus most of the girls are crying (including me) and almost everyone is holding their breath as we read that page. It doesn't even phase them because they are so caught up in the character's emotions.
     
  7. purdyis8

    purdyis8 New Member

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    Sep 20, 2010

    I believe when kids are interested in a book, they don't pay a lot of attention to minor swearing. I can remember when my fifth grade teacher read "Where the Red Fern Grows". It was so wonderful. Just the way she read it, it was as if I could see the story unfold before my eyes. I am thirty nine years old and still remeber how excited I would get when it was time for her to read. I can honestly say, "I don't remeber one bad word in that book". If it really bothers you, maybe you could just skip the bad word when you come to it or substitute it.
     
  8. Momma C

    Momma C Comrade

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    Oct 8, 2010

    The Egypt Game has no foul language that I remember. Kids take their cue from you. If you don't focus in on it and make a big deal of the foul word, neither will they. I teach 8th grade, and they don't even use it in my room. The know that Momma C does not use that type of language - and neither do they.
     
  9. carlea

    carlea Comrade

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    Oct 9, 2010

    I'm reading aloud The Revealers (it's about bullying) and there are minor swear words. Before starting this book, I had a mini-lesson on reading books with swear words in them. I talked about how they are now in middle school and are mature enough to not make a big deal about it. Then we discussed why the author would choose to write swear words and what effects they may have on the story. I haven't had any problems from students or parents.
     
  10. AnonyMS

    AnonyMS Habitué

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    Nov 6, 2010

    Ditto what Carlea said!
     
  11. Sarge

    Sarge Enthusiast

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    Nov 6, 2010

    In first grade we read a story called "Matthew and Tilly."

    Two friends have a verbal fight were they call each other "stupid and stinky and mean."

    Some teachers modify it, others don't.

    I don't change the words, and I feel strongly that teachers should not change the words. I feel the same with swearing in books read by upper grades.

    The author put those words in the book or story for a reason.
     
  12. MissScrimmage

    MissScrimmage Enthusiast

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    Nov 6, 2010

    Thanks for all of the advice. It's nice to hear from teachers who have handled this situation before. I am not reading "Bridge to Terabithia" because it turns out 2/3 of my class has already studied it. But at least I am prepared for future situations!
     
  13. AnonyMS

    AnonyMS Habitué

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    Nov 10, 2010

    Well, I need to modify my answer: I don't censor language in books for older grades, but I would censor language in the younger grades. For example, I would censor the word "stupid" (I substitute "silly") and the word "hate". This is one reason why I don't like Junie B. Jones books.

     
  14. goopp

    goopp Devotee

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    Nov 11, 2010

    We read Bridge to Terabithia and My Brother Sam is Dead in my 4th grade class. I've never had a question about either book from a parent.
     

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