What do we read?

Discussion in 'Middle School / Junior High' started by kel9798, Mar 30, 2008.

  1. kel9798

    kel9798 Rookie

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    Mar 30, 2008

    I will be starting a new job next fall as a middle school language arts teacher in Arizona. I was wondering what novels I should read with my classes. I would like to start reading some this summer and planning lessons to go along with them. If anyone has an idea of what books would be good for 7th or 8th grade, I would love the advice.
    Also, I wasn't sure how reading novels works. Do most schools have a list of books you have to read in each grade or is it up to the teachers?
     
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  3. carlea

    carlea Comrade

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    Mar 30, 2008

    There are only 3 of us who teach 7/8 LA & SS. So we chose the books but used the list that the local library gives out for recommended reading. We also connected to social studies and/or science curriculums.
    For 7th grade: Crispin The Cross of Lead (medieval Europe) and The House of the Scorpion (our 7th graders learn about genetics and cloning which is the basis for the story).
    For 8th grade: The Giver (we tie it into SS with forming a society, how is it governed, how people work together, etc.) and To Kill a Mockingbird (to get them started on classics).
     
  4. jsfowler

    jsfowler Companion

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    Mar 30, 2008

    Every school is different - some have a required reading list and some do not. We do not have a required list but there are approximatley 30 novels in our library with 100 copies each so that we can have a classroom set. Check with your school to see what novels they have in classroom sets. Here are some books that we promote at our school:

    Missing May
    Julie, of the Wolves
    The Giver
    Slam
    The Outsiders
    Watsons Go to Birmingham
    A Year Down Yonder
    A Long Way From Chicago
    Johnny Tremain
    Animal Farm
    The Witch of Blackbird Pond
    A Wrinkle in Time

    These are just the ones I can think of off-hand. Hope this helps and gives you some ideas. Let me suggest "Watsons Go to Birmingham" - the kids love it and it is great for interdisciplinary lessons!
     
  5. bluelightstar

    bluelightstar Companion

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    Mar 30, 2008

    Some of the suggested works for our district are Island of the Blue Dolphins; Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry; and Because of Winn-Dixie.
     
  6. CanadianTeacher

    CanadianTeacher Groupie

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    Mar 30, 2008

    I've done Touching Spirit Bear by Ben Mikaelsen and That was Then This is Now by.....(I drew a blank on the name...same author as the outsiders) with great success.
     
  7. RainbowsEnd

    RainbowsEnd Rookie

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    Apr 3, 2008

    I'm in my first year of teaching right now, and I'm at a school that doesn't have a list of MUST reads. There is a list of suggestions, but based on what the kids have enjoyed this year, here are some titles to think about (some are newer so might not be at your school yet)

    Whale Talk, Chris Crutcher
    Night, Elie Weisel (they LOVED this)
    The Outsiders, S.E. Hinton
    The Devil's Arithmetic, Jane Yolen
    Speak, Yolen


    Think about starting your year with something other than a novel. You should train them to work and do things the way you want them to. I began by reviewing HOW TO be a student, and it's payed off in a lot of cases - organization, taking notes, staying organized. People assume kids know this, but how do they if we don't teach them?
     

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