Novels or No Novels???

Discussion in 'High School' started by mizpruett, May 29, 2017.

  1. mizpruett

    mizpruett New Member

    Joined:
    May 29, 2017
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0

    May 29, 2017

    I'm wondering how others are working in novels in their English classes. I teach English I (9th grade) and my district provides SpringBoard workbooks written by the National Board. The district encourages us to us SpringBoard and to teach with excerpts. We are discouraged from reading whole novels. I like doing whole novels, but was wanting others' input.

    Do you teach whole novel? How do you incorporate the novel? What novels do you read?
     
  2.  
  3. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2002
    Messages:
    18,938
    Likes Received:
    681

    May 29, 2017

    Oh, how awful. I hate the use of excerpts. My tutoring students read novels independently and then work on projects related to their chosen books. In the classroom, I taught elementary, so that won't help you too much. i assigned home reading and then read aloud those same chapters prior to discussion and reading journals.
     
  4. GPC0321

    GPC0321 Companion

    Joined:
    May 24, 2015
    Messages:
    245
    Likes Received:
    158

    May 29, 2017

    In 9th grade the only full novel I taught was To Kill a Mockingbird. We also did all of Romeo and Juliet. Otherwise, it was all short stories and poems from the literature textbook.
    I moved to 10th grade last year, and taught out of a horrid Common Core Coach book that I felt obligated to use since I was the one who convinced the P to purchase it to help improve EOC scores. I. Hate. It. And since I hate it, the kids hate it.
    Next year those terrible things are going to the book room and I'm teaching Elie Wiesel's Night, Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart, and Shakespeare's Julius Caesar in their entirety with connected readings (informational and poetry), a lot of meaningful writing assignments, and some vocab and grammar on the side.
    I know the stupid test has lots of excerpts on it, but I can't go through another minute of the misery I've endured over the past two years. The standards are met with the full texts, and I believe a happy teacher has happy students who do better on tests. :)
     
    Obadiah likes this.
  5. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2002
    Messages:
    18,938
    Likes Received:
    681

    May 29, 2017

    Don't be afraid to consult No Fear, Shakespeare. It can really help the kids compare modern language to Shakespearean language.
     
    Caesar753 likes this.
  6. Tulipteacher

    Tulipteacher Companion

    Joined:
    May 7, 2016
    Messages:
    122
    Likes Received:
    91

    Jun 10, 2017

    What do you dislike about Springboard? I have a colleague who used it in her last school and loved it and wants us to adopt it.

    I do two full-length works and the rest are short stories, articles, excerpts, and poems. I teach on semester-long block scheduling, FWIW. In 9th grade we do Romeo and Juliet and To Kill a Mockingbird. 10th is Night and Julius Caesar. 11th is Great Gatsby and the Crucible. 12th is Macbeth and excerpts including Beowulf and Canterbury Tales.
     
  7. platypusok

    platypusok Companion

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2011
    Messages:
    241
    Likes Received:
    6

    Jun 12, 2017

    We read a ton of poetry and short stories. But we also do "major" works each year.
    9th: Romeo and Juliet and Lord of the Flies
    10th: Julius Caesar and To Kill a Mockingbird
    11th: Great Gatsby, Night, and The Crucible
    12th: Animal Farm and Macbeth

    I also teach AP Lit and not doing "major" works can really hurt the kids who take the AP Lit test as the third essay is an open prompt where they have to draw on their previous readings. I teach Frankenstein* to the AP kids because I swear it can be used for almost any open prompt. But it's nice to have a deep well to draw from.
     
    Obadiah and Caesar753 like this.
  8. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2007
    Messages:
    14,596
    Likes Received:
    2,698

    Jun 12, 2017

    I think that it's important for students to build up their literacy stamina, which can't be done by reading excerpts alone.
     
    Bioguru, DAH, Obadiah and 1 other person like this.
  9. mathmagic

    mathmagic Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2012
    Messages:
    2,418
    Likes Received:
    1,174

    Jun 12, 2017

    It always seems to come back around to the middle of the pendulum being the best: not black, not white, but a mix of the two :)
     
  10. viola_x_wittrockiana

    viola_x_wittrockiana Comrade

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2016
    Messages:
    354
    Likes Received:
    198

    Jun 12, 2017

    A friend of mine piloted Springboard with her 8th graders. The program itself is respectably rigorous for college/AP preparation; her problem was that it was inaccessible to well over half of her students. The kids hated it, not that that says much. She still did a few novels with Springboard.

    Maybe it's just my state, but I did quite a few full works in HS, and so did my college friends from other schools. For me, I can remember doing R&J, The Glass Menagerie, TKAM, Walden, Animal Farm, Of Mice and Men, Huck Finn, When the Emperor was Divine, A Raisin in the Sun, and Pygmalion during freshman and sophomore years.
    Junior and senior years were Beowulf, the "clean" parts of Canterbury Tales, Gatsby, The Catcher in the Rye, Hamlet, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, most of Faerie Queen, Paradise Lost, Tale of Two Cities, The Secret Life of Bees, A Separate Peace, The Rape of the Lock, and a Victorian/Gothic novel of our choice.
     
  11. Mrs. K.

    Mrs. K. Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2008
    Messages:
    2,289
    Likes Received:
    120

    Jun 12, 2017

    Our district piloted this year. We were presented with three options. Springboard was rejected immediately because of the lack of full-length works.
     
  12. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2002
    Messages:
    18,938
    Likes Received:
    681

    Jun 13, 2017

    There are so many things you can do to extend your novel study that it would be hard for me to give up. I'm only tutoring now, but one of my students has had quite a few assignments based on her current novel, Stargirl. Today she started writing a script for a documentary on a social justice issue of her choice. She will 'interview' a character for it. She also wrote a letter to an editor on a social justice topic from her character. So much fun!
     
  13. MissScrimmage

    MissScrimmage Aficionado

    Joined:
    May 29, 2007
    Messages:
    3,061
    Likes Received:
    538

    Jun 13, 2017

    Are the excerpts all centered around a theme or genre? Could you incorporate literature circles around the same theme, but use the excerpts for teaching specific reading strategies? Sorry, I am not familiar with the resource you are talking about - something like that would never fly here. I am so thankful for our professional autonomy.

    Is there time for independent reading every day so students at least have time to read self-selected novels? Maybe they could compare/contrast their self-selected novels with the excerpts?
     
  14. Obadiah

    Obadiah Groupie

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2015
    Messages:
    1,358
    Likes Received:
    841

    Jun 15, 2017

    I'm elementary, but I'd like to add my 2 cents to this discussion. I remember reading assigned novels in high school and I feel they enriched my education tremendously. A good book always fortifies the reader in many ways, but most importantly the student's brain expands its depth of knowledge, understanding, and wisdom. An excerpt can't accomplish as much as the entire work is capable of. The author didn't just write an excerpt and hope it sufficed. The author wrote with a mission and a passion to pass on her/his thoughts to the reader.

    I recall some favorites, Lord of the Flies, The Outsiders (which I had already read prior to the assignment along with other Sally Hinton books), and The Hiding Place (an autobiography rather than a novel). As a class we read Romeo and Juliet; I recall wishing it had a happier ending. As a student, I didn't care much for The Scarlet Letter; I'd never admit it to my peers, but I thought it was too scary. I appreciate the introduction to various literary forms, ideas, and content that only an assigned novel could have provided.
     
  15. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2010
    Messages:
    6,183
    Likes Received:
    2,110

    Jun 15, 2017

    I don't think it is appropriate to have one at the exclusion of the other. Both provide benefits. Excerpts allow focused practice of skills much like a sports team will practice distinct skills before being put in the game. It also allows demonstration of the standard across a wider variety of writings. So, instead of seeing how this skill comes up in just one or two circumstances, a student can see it across genres and across the style of different authors.

    Novels show the process from beginning to end and how all of the pieces fit together. It is the game.

    Although teaching the 7 different types of stories is important, and learning to love reading is a hope, are we really teaching novels or are we teaching skills so the students can use those on any written work?
     
    Obadiah and MissScrimmage like this.
  16. nerdyinglasses

    nerdyinglasses New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2017
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 4, 2017

    I do think that novels are very important. Whatever you may think, expect reading in the class, I give extra bonuses for reading at home or in the free time.
     
  17. Milsey

    Milsey Habitué

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2009
    Messages:
    839
    Likes Received:
    45

    Jul 30, 2017

    Springboard needs to be pulped. I seriously hate it. I just loved "Purple Hibiscus" and cannot recommend it highly enough.
     

Share This Page

Members Online Now

  1. devina12
Total: 426 (members: 2, guests: 398, robots: 26)
test