What not to read:

Discussion in 'General Education Archives' started by Miss W, Nov 7, 2005.

  1. Miss W

    Miss W Phenom

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    Discussing the Harry Potter books, I thought we might post books not to read in the classroom. You know. Books that seem like they'll be good to read, and then turn out not to be.
     
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  3. NCP

    NCP Comrade

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    The only one I can think of is Stone Fox, and that is only because I can't hold it together enough to finish the end of the book! It is so sad.
     
  4. hojalata

    hojalata Comrade

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    The Girraffe the Pelly and Me by Roald Dahl. It has a whole part in there where a character goes off about shooting somebody. I learned that the hard way...right in the middle of it..oops!
     
  5. scarlet_begonia

    scarlet_begonia Comrade

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    I teach younger kids.......but I won't read them "There's a Nightmare in My Closet" by Mercer Mayer. The main character shoots the nightmare. I'm sure that was fine 25 years ago, but I feel it's inappropriate today. I also don't read "The Giving Tree" by Shel Silverstein. I just can't get through it.
     
  6. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    I read The Egypt Game last year and it was awful.

    So far this year none of the kids have liked my read-alouds. I feel terrible that I haven't chosen one that will hook them. Sideways Stories from Wayside School fell flat. They didn't really like Maniac Magee. They hated The Hundred Dresses. Half liked My Side of the Mountain. They didn't like The Legend of Sleepy Hollow which I read Halloween week. Now they are finally thrilled that I am reading The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.
     
  7. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Stone Fox is one of my favourite books for a small group novel study. It is tremendous for discussing prediction--although the students can never predict the ending. The kids enjoy the adventure of the story--although there are some who will never forgive me for the ending of the book!
     
  8. hojalata

    hojalata Comrade

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    Upsadaisy,
    I can't believe your kids didn't like those books!!! Wayside School is like an all time classic-- who wouldn't love that book!??! What grade do you teach? I remember doing Wayside School in 3rd grade, and Maniac Magee in 6th grade.
     
  9. jenniatek

    jenniatek Companion

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    The Wayside School series are always a favourite in my grade 3 classes! Although not all the students folllow the humour.
    I hadn't read Bunnicula for awhile and I'm just finishing it up now but the language is a little "old" for my 2/3 class...it's an older book so the language tends to be quite formal....or maybe it was written in England...I'm not sure...anyway they're not enjoying it as much as I had hoped.
    You always have to be careful with some of the lesser known Roald Dahl books....you never know what he'll write! I read The Giraffe, The Pelly and Me and I don't remember that part but maybe I skipped it...I know I've had to edit R. Dahl books before when reading aloud!! On-the-spot censoring!
    Believe it or not, I've never read The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe....how is it for a read aloud for a 2/3 class?
     
  10. ChristyF

    ChristyF Moderator

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    A mistake I made was reading the Hobbit to my 4th graders. They really wanted to be interested, but they couldn't follow the book. I bought a copy of Silent to the Bone by E.L. Konigsburg, but it is much too mature for my kids. What Jamie Saw (Carolyn Coman ) was a really good book, but not a read aloud.
     
  11. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Hojalata, I know what you mean. I teach 5th so I think the stories were just too silly in Wayside School. They didn't think the kids were funny, just stupid. Oh, well. I think Bunnicula is a bit dated and is better for 4th or 5th grades. I am reading Lion, Witch, .... now and they love it. I wouldn't read it for 2/3 though. I don't like to read books that are extraordinarily descriptive or just plain too wordy for read-aloud.
     
  12. Ghostofachance

    Ghostofachance Rookie

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    The only book I can think of is The Hundred Dresses. Even I was tired of it by the third chapter.
     
  13. kermy

    kermy Companion

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    i have never read Lion, Witch... i actually just bought it...well the Chronicle of Nera. I had never even heard of it until the movie previews came out...my boyfriend just laughed at me and was shocked. but i heard its good.
     
  14. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    It's one of the few fantasy books I read aloud.
     
  15. ChristyF

    ChristyF Moderator

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    As much as I love fantasy books I have never read them. They on my shelf now and I am working my way down to them. I had hoped to read the book before the movie came out, but it looks like I won't.
    Has anyone read the Unfortunate Events to their class? I am on book 4 now and really enjoying them. I think when we finish Winn Dixie I will start book 1 with my class.
     
  16. Miss W

    Miss W Phenom

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    My kids love A Series of Unfortunate Events. I can't keep them on the shelves. I actually bought 3 copies of #1 from Scholastic for $.99 to put in my birthday book box.

    Okay, back on track: Books not to read.
     
  17. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    I started to read #1 last year and the kids just didn't get the humor or tongue-in-cheek remarks so I dropped it. I have had some students who absolutely loved the series, though.
     
  18. DizneeTeachR

    DizneeTeachR Virtuoso

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    Number the Stars...is a great book...Just hard to put down!!! I kept wanting to know what was going to happen next!!!
     
  19. JenPooh

    JenPooh Virtuoso

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    I bought a book from Scholastic last week and got it in the mail yesturday. It's called Christmas In The Barn. A story about baby Jesus being born. Here I thought it'd be a lively tale about the birth of Jesus. Well, it was, but on one page it says "The little mice rustled in the sweet dry grass, near the lambs and the kine and the ox and the a**". Now, I get that a donkey is called an a**. But I work with 3 year olds and I have very inquisitive 3 year olds that ask what a word means that they don't know. The last thing I need is for my 3 year olds to go and start saying that word they learned at Ms. Jennie's. Good thing they can't read themselves.
     
  20. jellybean92180

    jellybean92180 Rookie

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    There is a book called "Mommy Laid an Egg." It is supposed to be about how babies are made. It is written to be on a children's level, so I looked at it to maybe read to my niece. It has stick people in various sexual positions. Even I was embarrassed!
    Also, we were studying safety in class. I picked out a book about safety at the library. I got to a part about telling an adult if someone touches your private parts. I just skipped right over it. I am not about to exlain to a room full of 5 and 6 year olds about that. I really don't need a bunch of angry parents calling because I talked to their children about that. I believe the book was called "Be Safe" but I am not really sure.
     
  21. JenPooh

    JenPooh Virtuoso

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    I would think that should be the parents responsiblity at that age. AH!
     
  22. jellybean92180

    jellybean92180 Rookie

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    I know, I got to that part and kind of just stopped and went "OH", flipped the page and kept right on going with the next thing! How uncomfortable!
    I ended up not getting the book about babies for my niece, she wouldn't have understood anyway...
     
  23. hatima

    hatima Devotee

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  24. jenniatek

    jenniatek Companion

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    Believe it or not, we actually have a program that we teach called CARE that covers just that. It has picture cards and real-life situation examples involving teaching the children about what parts of their body are private, and what to do if someone, including parents, grandparents, etc touches them inappropriately. We teach it every other year at my school.
     
  25. samteach

    samteach Rookie

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    Instead of Harry Potter and other "new" books out there now, the old Lord of the Rings books are just as "new and hip" because of the movies, but they are actually well written and complex. Unlike the Potter books, they use high level English and complex syntactic structure that kids will learn alot from.
     
  26. Miss W

    Miss W Phenom

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    I got a book called "Safety" that talked about talking to strangers. It has some details in there that I would not read. It was published in the 70's.
     
  27. Miss W

    Miss W Phenom

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    I did love the LOTR series the first time I read them way back when. The content, like you said, is very complex. If I taught High School English I might use them. I'm looking for read-aloud books that are not good books when you get into them. There are a few books that I absolutly refuse to put in my classroom libray.
     
  28. Hermione

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    I understand how you can't get through the Giving Tree, but I hope you try again. It helps children understand about our Earth and its resources. I admit that I cry about how selfless the tree is and how we abuse our Earth, but this book is a great way to teach responsibility and Empathy!
     
  29. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Yes, but I think this thread is about books for the teacher to read or not read aloud.
     
  30. Missy

    Missy Aficionado

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    I tried to read Cheaper by the Dozen several years ago, but the kids just didn't get it. It is set in a very different time period than the movie.
     
  31. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    I'm just over halfway through The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and my class can't get enough of it! We are going to see the movie next week, so have to finish the book before then. I have had so much success with my last 2 read-alouds that I am going to have a hard time picking the next one!
     
  32. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    My class this year didn't like it much at all. Ya never know...
     
  33. Grammy Teacher

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    I read The Giving Tree to my Preschoolers every year. It is my favorite book in the whole world. After reading it several times, I don't cry anymore! However, the children know that it touches my soul and they feel every bit of my emotion...they scarcely breath when I read it and when I am finished there is dead silence and we just sit and think for awhile before I move on to the next activity.
     
  34. scarlet_begonia

    scarlet_begonia Comrade

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    I stopped crying after getting used to "love you forever" (which, if you think about it, isn't touching, it's SCARY, but I digress..) I just never got over "the giving tree." I cry every time.
     
  35. Grammy Teacher

    Grammy Teacher Virtuoso

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    It is amazing that a book can have that much of an impact on us...he did a wonderful job or writing, didn't he?!
     
  36. becky

    becky Enthusiast

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    LOL. Jeannie has been able to pick up on it if I suddenly realize I'm reading something I don't want her to hear. She'll say 'wait, wait, what are you skipping??'

    Oh, Jen- Jeanne has also told me I cussed when I used the word '***' while reading a Bible story!!
     
  37. heyMiss!

    heyMiss! Rookie

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    When I was a nanny in Sweden 3 years ago, I borrowed this audio version in Swedish to listen to with the Kindergarten-age boy I was taking care of. Well, since there were so many unknown words, I couldn't follow it, but he listened to about 80% of it on Friday evening (stayed up late until his Mom said STOP) and got up unusually early to finish it off the next morning! This is a child who is probably dyslexic and isn't too good at reading yet...
     
  38. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Some kids get into THE HOBBIT as little ones, some have to grow into it, and some just never quite get there. By more or less the same token, I don't expect ever to grow into a taste for Stephen King - and, fortunately, I don't HAVE to.
     
  39. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    I'm with you, TeacherGroupie.

    After I finish reading a book aloud, I poll the class to give it 0 to 5 stars, then we average the rating. I pass around a sentence strip and they get to write adjectives according to their response to the book. Sometimes kids write stupid or boring and I don't quibble with that. I tell them that they are entitled to their opinions. During the reading, however, I constantly remind them about how to appreciate a book, how to listen for comprehension, etc.

    Kids are so used to quick, visual stimulation that they have trouble listening - guess we all know that! It really is a skill they need to learn but they look at me like I'm crazy when I urge them to be still. I think they believe they should never have to be still, never have to be completely silent, either.
     
  40. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Being still and silent can be amazingly hard work - for grownups, too.
     
  41. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    So true. But rewarding when accomplished!
     

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