7th Grade English- Good books to read aloud?

Discussion in 'Secondary Education Archives' started by Sarkfollower, Apr 25, 2007.

  1. Sarkfollower

    Sarkfollower Rookie

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2007
    Messages:
    24
    Likes Received:
    0

    Apr 25, 2007

    I am switching careers next year (from marketing to teaching) and I am beginning to plan my year! I have been reading several young adult books and trying to figure out what to teach. I want to have a few books to read aloud to the class a little each day and I am having a hard time finding the perfect book! I really liked The Giver by L. Lowery but it may be a bit too "over the top" since it touches on issues like euthanasia. I am not so sure how that would go over with the parents! I do want a thought provoking book that is maybe a bit suspenseful and a fun read... any suggestions?

    Also... any thoughts on how to teach vocab that makes it fun and interesting for the kids? I was thinking of doing a "word of the day."
     
  2.  
  3. S[w]eet_lov[e]

    S[w]eet_lov[e] Rookie

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2007
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0

    Apr 25, 2007

    Try The Cay
     
  4. S[w]eet_lov[e]

    S[w]eet_lov[e] Rookie

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2007
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0

    Apr 25, 2007

    Or The Green Book
     
  5. Sarkfollower

    Sarkfollower Rookie

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2007
    Messages:
    24
    Likes Received:
    0

    Apr 25, 2007

    Thank you! I really need the suggestions! I will hunt down a copy of each on Amazon!
     
  6. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2002
    Messages:
    18,935
    Likes Received:
    676

    Apr 25, 2007

    Look for Joan Bauer's Hope Was Here.
     
  7. hernandoreading

    hernandoreading Comrade

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2005
    Messages:
    402
    Likes Received:
    1

    Apr 25, 2007

    Coraline by Neil Gaiman. My kids LOVED it!
     
  8. Mrs. R.

    Mrs. R. Connoisseur

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2006
    Messages:
    1,629
    Likes Received:
    0

    Apr 25, 2007

    Don't shy away from the Giver. Seventh graders are capable of handling the situations and the concepts in the novel. I have taught it in my seventh grade LA class (in fact just finished it yestreday) for 14 years, and I have never had parents complain. The kids get really interested in the discussion, and we've had some heated discussions about whether or not a "lie of omission" is REALLY a lie.

    I love seventh graders!

    Other books I love to read aloud: The Teacher's Funeral by Richard Peck, Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbit, Four Miles to Pinecone (can't remember the author), Anne of Green Gables by LM Montgomery
     
  9. agsrule!

    agsrule! Companion

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2006
    Messages:
    159
    Likes Received:
    0

    Apr 26, 2007

    I teach 7th LA, and we read The Giver, The Outsiders, The Watsons go to Birmingham, Esparanza Rising, Once Upon A Marigold, and Flipped. We are reading Marigold right now, and they are absolutely loving it!
     
  10. quesoqueen

    quesoqueen Rookie

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2005
    Messages:
    28
    Likes Received:
    0

    Apr 26, 2007

    Norman Tuttle on the Alaskan Frontier by Tom Boddett

    It can be hard to find but kids love it! I have read it to 6th and 7th graders, sometimes I edit it a bit but they really do enjoy it. They beg me to read it to them!
     
  11. Sarkfollower

    Sarkfollower Rookie

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2007
    Messages:
    24
    Likes Received:
    0

    Apr 27, 2007

    Are you sure it is not Norman Tuttle on the Last Frontier by Tom Bodett? I googled it and it kept coming up with a slightly different title and author. Let me know when you have a chance!
     
  12. quesoqueen

    quesoqueen Rookie

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2005
    Messages:
    28
    Likes Received:
    0

    Apr 27, 2007

    Yes Tom Bodett, one d, I had previously spelled his name wrong. I am looking at the book right now.

    Here is the ISBN #: 0-553-49493-7

    It just came out in paperback in October. It is a novel in short stories so it is perfect for reading to the class because you can read it as often as you'd like and if you forget to read it for a while, you can easily pick up where you left off.
     
  13. quesoqueen

    quesoqueen Rookie

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2005
    Messages:
    28
    Likes Received:
    0

    Apr 27, 2007

    ha, you are right Last Frontiier not Alaskan. It is about Alaska...it's been a loooooooong day, sorry!
     
  14. Sarkfollower

    Sarkfollower Rookie

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2007
    Messages:
    24
    Likes Received:
    0

    Apr 27, 2007

    If it is, that sounds like exactly what I am looking for! Please let me know if you have any other suggestions!
     
  15. Sarkfollower

    Sarkfollower Rookie

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2007
    Messages:
    24
    Likes Received:
    0

    Apr 27, 2007

    Thanks so much for the encouragement! I will be teaching in a very Christian town (mostly Mennonites) and I don't want to push the envelope too much. I love the book and I think the topics are interesting and have a ton of conversational value... I am just nervous about how some might react. I feel good that no one has called you on it! :) Any other tips on 7th graders would be most appreciated! I will be brand new and will use any advice you could give me! I am really excited about it! I think I have my "daily rituals" down pat but, if you don't mind me asking, how do you progress through your lesson plans... (what do you like to begin with and end with etc) I will be teaching 4 nine week blocks (three classes of 20). I have a plan for reading and writing but I am most interested in how you incorporate grammar lessons and vocab. Help!
     
  16. Sarkfollower

    Sarkfollower Rookie

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2007
    Messages:
    24
    Likes Received:
    0

    Apr 27, 2007

    Thanks so much! I just bought it! :)
     
  17. katrinkit

    katrinkit Comrade

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2006
    Messages:
    274
    Likes Received:
    0

    Apr 27, 2007

    At my school (Catholic, private, I teach 7th) we teach separate classes for English (grammar and writing), Literature, and Language Arts (spelling and vocab). I'm not a fan of this because I teach Lit and LA and can't incorporate all the grammar and writing I think goes with reading...but I'm new and don't want to rock the boat.

    Can you do Grammar mini-lessons twice a week? My ultimate classroom would do Grammar on Tuesdays and Thursday with independent reading (finding examples whatever grammar item you are working with for the day/week while reading). Because you are in blocks, you may find that you have the time to do this. Your closing on the days you incorporate grammar could be to share and turn in their examples.

    I love 7th grade - the particular class I have can be rough, but for the most part, they are great. Congratulations on your teaching position!
     
  18. trina

    trina Companion

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2007
    Messages:
    117
    Likes Received:
    0

    Apr 29, 2007

    I teach in a Christian school- 6, 7, and 8. I have all 3 for language (spelling, vocab, and grammar) and the 7th again for lit. We finished The Giver 2 weeks ago, and my class of "I do not like to read" students DEVOURED the book. I made it very suspenseful by not telling them anything (like what released means) and they really enjoyed it. They shocked me actually. Don't be afraid of it, and there are a lot of Biblical tie-ins there so work those in!
     
  19. PurpleTweety

    PurpleTweety Companion

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2006
    Messages:
    135
    Likes Received:
    0

    Apr 29, 2007

    My 6/7/8s this year are eating up The Phatom Tollbooth by Norman Juster. We never seem to have enough time to read and they are always begging for it.
     
  20. kevo2005

    kevo2005 Companion

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2007
    Messages:
    120
    Likes Received:
    0

    Apr 29, 2007

    That was my fav book when I was in 7th grade. ^^^
     
  21. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2002
    Messages:
    18,935
    Likes Received:
    676

    Apr 29, 2007

    My 5th graders loved it, too.
     
  22. deserttrumpet

    deserttrumpet Comrade

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2007
    Messages:
    418
    Likes Received:
    0

    Apr 29, 2007

    If you are reading aloud why not try some harder books? I remember enjoying Jurasic Park in 5th grade. I believe my teacher intended to only read a section but we loved the book so much she read the whole book aloud to us. Another she read that I remember and still love is titled "I am Regina."

    You may have to pause and explain things now and again, though, that could lead to great class discusions.
     
  23. Sarkfollower

    Sarkfollower Rookie

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2007
    Messages:
    24
    Likes Received:
    0

    May 1, 2007


    The big question is.... how do you tie in the Biblical references without overstepping "public school guidelines." I would LOVE to do that? How did you go about doing this? I have a few ideas but I would love to know which things you pulled and which you did not. I have a feeling this would be a great book... I just finished one of the books recommended to me (The island of Blue Dolphins) and thought it was a good read but maybe not as "suspenseful" as I might like for 7th grade... they get bored pretty fast and I want to keep them on their toes. I really liked the book, but I am not sure if they will find it as "stimulating" as The Giver. What other books would you recommend?
     
  24. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2002
    Messages:
    18,935
    Likes Received:
    676

    May 1, 2007

    What about Jumanji?
     
  25. Sarkfollower

    Sarkfollower Rookie

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2007
    Messages:
    24
    Likes Received:
    0

    May 1, 2007

    I am definitely picking up The Phantom Tollbooth and I will check into I am Regina as well. All of these suggestions are so great... keep them coming! I need some on the edge of your seat, nail biting, humorous, dramatic, thought provoking material here (for 7th grade). I have plenty for High School but middle is a completely new ball game and I want to make sure I start off class with a bang each day to keep them focused from the start.

    I will actually start with a poem of the day- then a word of the day- then a three minute free write (formative assessment: 100% for good faith effort)- and then the daily read. All of that will happen in the first 20 minutes of class each day (I have 90 minute blocks). Then we will have open time for SSR (every MWF for 30 minutes, grammar and vocab Tuesday and Thursday for 30 mins in place of SSR). I will recursively reference previous "poem of the day" and "word of the day" rituals for grammatical/grammatical lessons. They will be responsible for keeping a reading log daily and to get an "A", they must read a certain number of pages per week from books they choose and are (not too hard and not too easy- my only two rules). A "B" would require XYZ number of pages and so on. They must provide "food for thought" and I will know if the books are too easy by their reading journals (double entry system). The last 40 minutes will be a Barry Lane lesson (mainly narrative writing). I will teach Barry Lane for the first two nine week blocks and use their free writes as "raw material" to create longer pieces to edit for the second two nine week blocks using the Barry Lane skills and strategies I will teach them in the first half. They will get the last 40 minutes Friday as "free time" if no discipline cards are issued and they can work on weekend homework or class work so they can have homework free weekends if they are well behaved and earn it. They will have to be silent during this time or I will teach a lesson (I will have previously planned- just in case- LOL).

    I think this schedule will keep them busy and on their toes (as well as myself)! I am open to suggestions anyone might have in regards to this schedule. I have not implemented it yet (obviously) and would LOVE the feedback- even if it is critical. It works well with 9th grade. I am just not sure if I am on target since I will be teaching a different grade. I can pretty much do what I want with my classes (fortunately). The administration is great at letting the teachers plan what they want. I just think the best way to teach reading and writing is to let kids choose their own material and write their own material and encourage independent thought and interests. It will be a little more work for me but my goal is to have my classes really love English by the end of the year- not fear it.
     
  26. Sarkfollower

    Sarkfollower Rookie

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2007
    Messages:
    24
    Likes Received:
    0

    May 1, 2007

    Whoops- that was supposed to say grammatical/vocab. Long day.
     
  27. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2002
    Messages:
    18,935
    Likes Received:
    676

    May 1, 2007

    I think Phantom Tollbooth is too juvenile for many 7th graders, personally.

    What is the Barry Lane method?
     
  28. Sarkfollower

    Sarkfollower Rookie

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2007
    Messages:
    24
    Likes Received:
    0

    May 1, 2007

    Barry Lane is a constructivist educator and his methods can be used to teach mainly middle through high school. He has several books out that teach narrative and expository writing strategies step by step. The great part about his methods is that he understands the brain and how necessary it is to build off of previous lessons to engrain the material. He makes writing really fun for the students and has great terminology like "snapshots" and "thoughshots." A snapshot would be creating a scene in which you can feel the environment. It teaches how to self question to develop more detailed and thorough description of a physical setting. A "thoughtshot" would be the same but it focuses on what the writer is thinking at the time she or he is experiencing the environment/situation. This leads to dialogue and creating a good "lead" etc. Each concept builds off the previous and at the end of it all, you (as the teacher) will grade/read work you ENJOY! The kids will learn how to really spice up their writing using topics we pull from their individual free-writes. They get to decide- and kids at that age love to feel as though they are making their own decisions. Barry Lane is a genius at making lessons fun and the kids will believe they aren't really learning anything at all... It will all seem so easy because instead of me giving them worksheets to respond to, they will be creating their own essays using their own experiences. They work at their own levels and produce work based on their own ability. I have seen his strategies implemented in the classroom and the kids respond really well. They love to share their own work and experiences and because they value their own experiences so much, they want to make their writing even that much better. Using their own work is the key. Building off their own work is the key- and Barry Lane shows you how to do it in a way that is imaginative and exciting. Another example is "how to create a good lead." We used pictures from "Mysteries of Harris Burdick" by Chris Van Allsburg. The book includes only pictures and one lead sentence... I do not unveil his lead until the kids have thought one up for the picture themselves. They are always shocked by the lead given in the book and it inspires them to think outside the box and focus on some of the smaller details. From that point, their leads go from boring to suspenseful and just plain ingenious. I highly recommend buying the book. Barry Lane didn't suggest this particular book, but his strategies show you how to get your kids thinking outside the box. It is challenging but will work at any level. I recommend "After the End" and "Why We Run With Scissors." "Revisors Toolbox" gives you actual exercises to implement in the classroom- the other two teach strategy. You will be hooked. It throws traditional teaching right out the window and really shifts the paradigm.
     
  29. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2002
    Messages:
    18,935
    Likes Received:
    676

    May 1, 2007

    Sounds interesting. I started using writer's workshop this year for the first time - and find it pretty 'non-traditional' as well.
     
  30. booklover

    booklover Rookie

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2007
    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    0

    May 2, 2007

    My eighth grade loved The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle by Avi. My classes always wanted to keep reading to find out what happened next.
     
  31. booklover

    booklover Rookie

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2007
    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    0

    May 2, 2007

    My eighth graders loved The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle by Avi, and always wanted to read ahead.
     
  32. Sarkfollower

    Sarkfollower Rookie

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2007
    Messages:
    24
    Likes Received:
    0

    May 2, 2007

    Thank for the info (both for the writer's workshop info and the book referral). I will look into both and could still use more! I am pretty new at all of this and need as much information on 7th grade as I can get!
     

Share This Page

Members Online Now

  1. MrDavid,
  2. Backroads,
  3. txmomteacher2,
  4. futuremathsprof,
  5. WaterfallLady
Total: 319 (members: 8, guests: 287, robots: 24)
test