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Old 09-02-2010, 05:50 PM
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MissScrimmage MissScrimmage is offline
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Literacy Coach
Novels with Swearing

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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Old 09-02-2010, 07:54 PM
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Mrs. R. Mrs. R. is offline
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7th Grade LA
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.
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Old 09-02-2010, 09:20 PM
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MissScrimmage MissScrimmage is offline
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Literacy Coach
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.
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Old 09-04-2010, 06:54 PM
JustMe JustMe is offline
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If I were reading Bridge aloud, I'd simply and seamlessly say darn opposed to the cuss word.
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Old 09-18-2010, 11:12 AM
agsrule! agsrule! is offline
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Posts: 158
Houston, Texas
7th Grade Teacher
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.
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Old 09-20-2010, 07:15 PM
purdyis8 purdyis8 is offline
Join Date: Sep 2010
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Middle School Teacher
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.
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Old 10-08-2010, 07:18 PM
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Momma C Momma C is offline
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8th Grade Teacher
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.
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Old 10-09-2010, 09:11 AM
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carlea carlea is offline
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6th Grade Language Arts
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.
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Old 11-06-2010, 02:18 PM
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AnonyMS AnonyMS is offline
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Middle School ELA (6th grade)
Ditto what Carlea said!
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Old 11-06-2010, 02:48 PM
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Sarge Sarge is offline
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Working Class Teacher
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.
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novels, swearing

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