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??
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.