ELA: your favorite topic or reading to teach?

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by Tulipteacher, May 15, 2016.

  1. Tulipteacher

    Tulipteacher Companion

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    May 15, 2016

    I have a fair amount of flexibility as to what I teach in class as long as it follows CCSS and isn't something read in the higher grades.

    What is your favorite topic or text to teach? I am thinking ahead to next year, hoping to revamp a bit.

    I think the most impactful text for my students this year has been Night.
     
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  3. Mrs. K.

    Mrs. K. Enthusiast

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    My seniors ask me this all the time! I think the most important text I teach is 1984. Orwell was prescient.
     
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  4. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    OP, I'm in the same situation as you are, I have all the freedom I want. We've read Night in the fall, and then we've read Dawn. Night was very powerful, and then Dawn was a good continuation. We didn't get to Day. I had the students do a creative writing peace after we finished Dawn. They were to continue and tell what happened to all the characters, and it had to make sense based on how the characters were; or they could rewrite the very ending and then continue. I was very surprised and very impressed with all the great writing I got. It was a really good project.

    Next year I'm planning on reading Malala Yousef's first book, but I have to read it first. I think it would be powerful for the students and it would have many great messages.
     
  5. CharRMS

    CharRMS Companion

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    This year (middle school), I read Stargirl with my students. My kids LOVED the book and were asking over and over to read the second book, Love, Stargirl.
     
  6. miatorres

    miatorres Comrade

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    The Outsiders by S. E. Hinton is one of my favorite readings because it has many themes that students can relate to, such as gang warfare and true friendship. If showing the movie is permitted at your school, you can have intriguing discussions and writing activities with comparing and contrasting the movie to the book. It was also fun to see some of the red carpet stars (such as Tom Cruise, Patrick Swayze, and Diane Lane) in this film because with the exception of Diane, this was one of their first major movies they appeared in before they became famous.
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2016
  7. justwanttoteach

    justwanttoteach Cohort

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    I am presently, teaching Night. I really liked doing Of Mice and Men, and To Kill A Mockingbird. I am a new teacher so I am figuring out what I like and ways to teach it. I also taught Fahrenheit 451 it was alright, but not my favorite. I taught 11th grade and got to teach The Crucible. Man I loved that book! So much to do with that!

    I think it is fair to say I will teach anything..I really hated Julius Caesar though and don't plan to do it again if I can avoid it.
     
  8. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    I have to admit that I love teaching Romeo and Juliet, but it's because I love shattering students' pre-existing ideas about the story. They are blown away by how fickle Romeo is, and they realize the theme is NOT that "love conquers all". It's one of the first things I teach, and I use it to guide students into forming their own opinions of the characters and plot after they've tossed aside their romantic notions. By the time we get into the assignment of who is to blame for the deaths in the play, the students are finding evidence and building quite the impressive prosecution.
     
  9. ms.irene

    ms.irene Connoisseur

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    So true, love didn't conquer anything in that play!
     
  10. GPC0321

    GPC0321 Companion

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    I'm not sure anymore. I taught 9th grade forever, and I loved To Kill a Mockingbird. I taught the snot out of that book, and I'm not exaggerating when I say I think I might be one of the world's top experts on it, LOL! I know it by heart.

    I love Shakespeare too. I've taught R&J more than any other, but I've also taught Othello (favorite!) and Julius Caesar. I'm getting a section of seniors next year for the first time in my 14 year career, so I've got to get a grasp on Macbeth. It's been a long time since I've read it!

    I taught Night years ago when I first started teaching. In fact I personally bought a class set of paperbacks because the school didn't have any then. I'm teaching 10th grade again (which is our World Lit), but haven't taught Night because a lot of the kids read it in 8th grade.

    What else. OH! The Crucible! Loved teaching that when I taught 11th!

    And Dante's Inferno. Kids get into that.

    And Oedipus Rex. That always freaks them out. LOL!
     
  11. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    I'm wrapping up one final essay on TKAM this week. My top student, based on his love of the novel, is getting a copy of Go Set a Watchman as a reward. I'm interested to hear his reaction to the changes the characters undergo.
     
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  12. ms.irene

    ms.irene Connoisseur

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    Macbeth is fun and fast. The Folger Library Shakespeare Set Free plans for it are great! My favorite was a choral reading of the witches' cauldron scene complete with groups of students doing various sound effects: blowing wind, bubbling cauldrons, hooting owls, howling dogs...my neighbors love me, for sure!
     
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  13. GPC0321

    GPC0321 Companion

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    I love the Shakespeare Set Free way of teaching! I used it for R&J quite a lot! The choral reading of that scene sounds amazing!
     
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  14. GPC0321

    GPC0321 Companion

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    That will be interesting! I think it's important to keep in mind that GSAW was the first draft of TKAM. So many people (especially students) mistakenly think it's a sequel to TKAM and get upset that Atticus isn't as noble, etc. Great conversations can definitely be had about why GSAW wasn't published, and why Lee had to rework the novel quite a bit to get it published.
     
  15. Chinesa Rusch

    Chinesa Rusch New Member

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    It depends on the grade level. Reading The Outsiders with my 8th graders is a favorite because they get so much out of it and they always get really invested into the characters. The Crucible is another personal favorite for American Lit because I just really like the story. I always read Tuesdays With Morrie and the end of the year with my seniors because there are so many great lessons about life and that's like my final lesson to them
     

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