Need suggestions for 7th novel

Discussion in 'Secondary Education Archives' started by trina, Feb 21, 2007.

  1. trina

    trina Companion

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    Feb 21, 2007

    Hi all!

    I have a tough group of 7th graders who HATE reading. They have low vocab and comprehension skills. If they have to read somthing on their own, they usually won't do it. So lit class has been a real struggle so far this year. We have to read pretty much everything in class.

    For their summer reading they had to read The Westing Game and Roll of Thunder Hear My Cry. They liked Roll of Thunder better than Westing Game (those that actually read!) I want to do another outside book that will spark some love of reading- you know- a real page turner- from a remedial 7th grader's point of view. My demos are as follows: 14 kids- 4 white, 10 black, 6 girls, 8 boys.

    Help! I need your suggestions! Why you are suggesting a certain novel would also be good to help me decide. Thanks so much in advance.

    Trina in Alabama
     
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  3. JaimeMarie

    JaimeMarie Moderator

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    Feb 21, 2007

    Do you want the children to all read the same thing?
     
  4. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Feb 21, 2007

    I just read aloud a book to my 5th graders that was a real page-turner. It would definitely hold the interest of your less-than-motivated readers. How to Disappear Completely and Never Be Found by Sara Nickerson. It had some humor, a lot of suspense, and good examples of point of view and voice. The title sounds a little 'iffy', but it was quite appropriate.

    Another good one would be The Cay by T. Taylor. I love the story of a young boy coming to terms with racism and stereotypes during WWII.
     
  5. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Feb 21, 2007

    As a kid I loved "That was Then, This is Now" and "The Outsiders", both by S. E. Hinton.

    But I teach math and have no other suggestions. Sorry!!
     
  6. Mamacita

    Mamacita Aficionado

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    Feb 21, 2007

    "Holes" will always be one of my favorites. There is a sequel to it now, too, about Armpit.
     
  7. trina

    trina Companion

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    Feb 21, 2007

    Thanks for the suggestions so far. Yes- I want us all to read the same book.

    Thanks! Trina
     
  8. ptlanguage

    ptlanguage Rookie

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    Feb 22, 2007

    Trina: I teach a 7th grade Language Arts Title I class that is a real challenge. Two novels that they liked and were easy to follow were: "When Zachary Beaver Came To Town" and "That Was Then, This Is Now." A book that the girls might like is "Rules of the Road," by Joan Bauer.
     
  9. PurpleTweety

    PurpleTweety Companion

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    Feb 24, 2007

    In my 6-8 classroom, I have a fair selection of novels to choose from and here is a list of some that past/present classes have particularly enjoyed:
    Hatchet by Gary Paulsen (many have gone on to read the several sequels)
    The Cay
    Number the Stars
    The Pushcart War by Jean Merrill (I think, I'd have to look it up to be sure.)
    Holes
    Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie
    The Bronze Bow by Elizabeth George Spear
    The Witch of Blackbird Pond
    Caddie Woodlawn
    The Door in the Wall
    Adam of the Road
    Here is also some additional suggestions - they are not novel studies in my classroom, but have been read-alouds or individual reads students enjoyed.
    The Phantom Tollbooth (a huge hit with this year's class)
    anything by Gordon Korman
    The Tale of Despereaux
    The Royal Diaries, Dear America and Dear Canada series (I've had numerous female students who have read every one they could get their hands on.)
     
  10. Cateacher2b

    Cateacher2b Companion

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    Feb 24, 2007

    My Advice is..

    I second Phantonm Tollbooth and Number the Stars! My son is a 6th grader, who hates to read, but he really liked these two books! I recommend checking them out:D
     
  11. teresaglass

    teresaglass Groupie

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    Feb 24, 2007

    Number the Stars by Lois Lowry would be a great book. I used it with some of my high school remedial reading classes and they loved it. The Outsiders is also good. A third novel would be the Pigman by Richard Peck.
     
  12. katrinkit

    katrinkit Comrade

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    Feb 25, 2007

    I had low level 8/9 grade students who loved Counterfeit Son by Elaine Marie Alphin - it's a low level book but you can do a lot of prediction/connection stuff with it. I actually have a unit for it if you would like to see it - it's fairly large though.
     
  13. trina

    trina Companion

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    Feb 27, 2007

    OK- so an update. I decided on The Giver. I wanted something that the kids had not been exposed to, and when I found out the book was science fiction, I thought NO WAY! I HATE scifi. The I realized that I needed to practice what I was teaching :) So, The Giver it is.

    I will read it this week and start teaching it next Tuesday, March 6. Does anyone have lesson plans or activities to share?

    Thanks, Trina
     
  14. Mrs. R.

    Mrs. R. Connoisseur

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    Feb 27, 2007

    There's lots of stuff online to start with. One of my colleagues has the kids come up with their own "perfect societies" as a prereading activity. For my prereading, I have a Keynote slideshow that is simply slides of different colors. I have the kids write down what emotions the colors evoke or what the colors make them think of. I take another day and have the kids write down their most precious memory. We share them, and then I ask the kids to write about what their lives would be like if their memories were taken away and they were forced to be like everyone else. This usually gets them intrigued, and then we're off. During the novel, the kids use post-its to "leave tracks" of their thinking....questions, connections, inferences, etc. and then our group discussions go from there. As a post-reading activity, I show the movie Whalerider, and then the kids write an essay comparing the themes of The Giver to the themes in Whalerider (there are several....the kids do a great job with this!). I spend about three weeks total on this novel.
     

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