Ahem. Gone with the Wind, anybody?

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by allaragallagher, Jul 16, 2015.

  1. allaragallagher

    allaragallagher Comrade

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    Jul 16, 2015

    Am I crazy?

    My older brother has offered to buy me a classroom set of "Gone With the Wind." He's really passionate about it as one of the greatest books of all time and talked about how it could open up the South to my sheltered New England students. He's noticed we have a lot of pride/focus on New England authors around here.

    It's a 1000 page book! The longest book I've taught (first year, here) was "Divergent." It's 400 pages and it was a nightmare.

    Granted, I would be teaching "Gone With the Wind" to honors students, not freshmen.

    Has anybody on here tackled it before? I don't want to turn down an opportunity to expose my students to different books, but it's a really daunting task.

    Plus, if I turn it down, he's not the type of big brother to settle for something else I recommend. It's a gift. It's "Gone with the Wind" or nothing.
     
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  3. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    I would only consider it as a lit circle option and even then I'm not sure. I love the movie and like the book, but it's the only book where I've ever enjoyed the movie more than the book. It's not one I would choose to do is basically what I'm saying in a long-winded way.

    It's too bad he won't consider other books.
     
  4. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Jul 16, 2015

    I love the book (I reread it every two or three years)--both of my kids would have hated having to read it. I agree with dg, only as an option, if at all.
     
  5. Go Blue!

    Go Blue! Connoisseur

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    I've never seen GWTW taught in any HS - you might as well do War & Peace.
     
  6. MLB711

    MLB711 Comrade

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    Jul 16, 2015

    Just show the movie.
     
  7. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

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    I show the movie, but:
    1. We are in the south, so my students have a bit of context.
    2. I show it in Film II. In Film I, students have learned all about the black experience in film (multiple lectures, readings, documentaries, and film clips) so they have some perspective for the characters in the film and their actions. We are able to compare Mammie to Hattie McDaniels' roles in Showboat and Song of the South. We have already learned about some of the tropes and stock characters.
    3. Because they are upper level students we are able to realize that it is a highly fictionalized version of the "Old South," filmed on a Hollywood lot. There is no Tara! We use the film, and a documentary about it, to study the Hollywood system and how it differed from Europe.

    The movie is an important part of film history, and film students should watch it. The book, while it won the Pulitzer, I've never found to be particularly engaging. Many of the themes and subtleties would go over your students' heads. I would choose some Faulkner, Gaines, Chopin, or All the King's Men. There are such better southern authors out there. (Sorry, can you tell I'm a Louisiana girl?)
     
  8. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    Jul 16, 2015

    I'm not a secondary teacher, so I don't really know how this works up in those grades... but don't you have curriculum that outlines what books you are supposed to teach, or at least what skills to teach through various books? Does GWTW meet any of your curriculum goals? I would let that, or a conversation with an instructional leader or other admin, guide your decision.
     
  9. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    At least at my school, we just go based on the standards, which aren't book specific. I love the freedom to choose books for my kids while still teaching the standards. OP may be in the same boat.
     
  10. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    Jul 16, 2015

    As a parent I'd be a tad bit upset that my child's teacher chose that piece of junk to spend time on in the classroom. So many other pieces of fiction, with better writing and more accurate portrayals, than that one.

    I'd tell my brother, thanks, but no thanks.
     
  11. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Maven

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    Jul 17, 2015

    Well, I don't want to sound mean, but it seems like a weird obsession to have :lol: I don't think it's appropriate to read in school. I personally loved it and read it when I was a junior in high school but I was a book nerd who also read Les Mis that same year. You might find them totally uninterested and it is certainly is way too long. That is a generous offer though. If you're really considering this I would talk to the department head about it. If they say no, at least that's the reason you can give your brother so you don't sound ungrateful when you decline.
     
  12. physteach

    physteach Companion

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    We read it in 8th grade as a summer reading book.
     
  13. allaragallagher

    allaragallagher Comrade

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    Yes, I'm in the same boat. We're an extremely small, rural school. We just go by standards so I can choose anything and everything if I can rationalize it. I do not have a department head and my district does not have an instructional leader. I'm on my own.

    Thanks for the feedback. I will nicely decline the book. I can't find the time to devote to it anyway.
     
  14. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Maven

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    Yes, it was on our summer reading list all through high school but I didn't get it until 11th grade. I was one of those kids who wanted to read every book on the list LOL
     
  15. physteach

    physteach Companion

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    For us it was required for anyone going into the honors section of 8th grade Reading. I didn't want to read it, but it will always be special for me because of when I read it.
     
  16. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

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    I read the book Gone with the Wind in 7th grade, and I absolutely loved it. It is over 1000 pages with an itty bitty Font. It is so much better than the movie, it is insulting to the book to even compare the movie to it.

    I don't teach high school, so I am not sure how you would pull it off. Unless you are willing to read every word of the book first and carefully map out how this book is going to fit to the standards you teach, I wouldn't touch it as a book for all readers in the classroom.

    I would begin first by offering extra credit to someone who chooses to read it and do some kind of project.report on it, to really show she/he has read it. I do think some students would love this book as much as I did.
     
  17. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    I wouldn't let a sibling influence the professional choices I make for my students. Give him a list of books that fit your curriculum needs if he wants to make a donation to your class :rolleyes:
     
  18. Maryhf

    Maryhf Connoisseur

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    Jul 31, 2015

    I just read that GWTW is a popular book in North Korea. It illustrates problems and inequality in the US. Just thought I'd share some trivia:D
     
  19. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    I remember reading it in 9th. I loved it. I think the school went to see it at the theater.
     

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