Need Opinion--Textbook, Novels, or Both?

Discussion in 'Middle School / Junior High' started by IowaLA, Nov 19, 2007.

  1. IowaLA

    IowaLA Rookie

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    Nov 19, 2007

    Background info--I am a first year teacher who is teaching 7th grade reading. The teacher before me only used one novel the whole year (Tom Sawyer) and taught the rest of the year out of a textbook.

    This year, I am trying to get away from the textbook and instead using whole class novels, literature circles, and other reading activities.

    However, our school is looking to buy new language arts textbooks. The one we are looking at is McDougal Littell Literature. While I do like the textbook and the MANY extras it comes with, I am hesitant to go back to a textbook.

    Any opinions out there? Who uses novels and who uses textbooks? If you use both, how do you use both in your classroom? I would love to hear from you!!!

    Thanks!
     
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  3. lmjcatz

    lmjcatz Rookie

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    Nov 19, 2007

    I use both the textbook and novels in my classes (9th and 10th grade). I start off with the literature textbook (we have a separate grammar textbook) using various short stories and teach plot, character/characterization, theme etc.-all of the things that we will study later in our novels. The 9th grade lit book has The Miracle Worker and Romeo and Juliet so we come back to those plays later in the year. I also use the lit book for teaching non-fiction and poetry-supplemented with outside sources. My honors classes will read about 5-6 novels in addition to the above items; my academics (college bound but not at honors level) will read 2-3 novels. My 10th grade lit book doesn't fit well with the course (world literature) so I use a lot of supplementals-especially with my lower level students who struggle with The Tragedy of Julius Caesar and are not interested in Antigone. We will read several one act plays to learn about drama and 3-4 novels in addition to the short stories and non-fiction units. While the number of novels read varies per class at my school, all of the teachers utilize the textbook to some degree. Hope that helps.
     
  4. ValinFW

    ValinFW Comrade

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    Nov 19, 2007

    Our district adopted the McDougall-Littell book. I use both. I use the textbook for my short story and poetry units and for drama. I supplement it with my novels. In 7th grade, I did The Outsiders, Where the Red Fern Grows, and Touching Spirit Bear. The 7th grade M-L book that we adopted in 2001 includes author studies as well.
     
  5. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Virtuoso

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    Nov 19, 2007

    I use several novels as well as 6 different textbooks and newspapers.
     
  6. IowaLA

    IowaLA Rookie

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    Nov 26, 2007

    Thank you to those who gave their opinion. Any others? We are having a department meeting today and I would like as much input as possible. Thanks!
     

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