Which of these novels would you pick?

Discussion in 'Middle School / Junior High' started by MissEducation, Jan 4, 2010.

  1. MissEducation

    MissEducation Companion

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    Jan 4, 2010

    I am going to do a novel unit with my 7th and 8th graders. I have several to choose from. I'm trying to go with one that the kids will enjoy (most are not big readers) and that I will be able to find the most resources for. I want to tie this in with the research project, so something with historical significance would probably work best. Here are my choices:

    7th:
    A Wrinkle in Time
    Nothing But the Truth
    Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry
    Call of the Wild
    The Pearl
    Where the Red Fern Grows

    8th:
    Animal Farm
    The Outsiders
    The Giver
    Dogsong

    What would you pick? Thanks in advance!
     
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  3. Jem

    Jem Aficionado

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    Jan 4, 2010

    7th-Roll of Thunder

    8th-Maybe Dogsong? I did Animal Farm in High School, and it was really, really deep. It would depend on how into your students got, I think-it's my favorite on the list, but it could be tough. You would have to teach the history side-by-side with it.
     
  4. futureteach21

    futureteach21 Habitué

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    I hated Animal Farm, and I read it in high school. I did read The Outsiders in 7th grade and I remember our whole class enjoyed it.
     
  5. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    A Wrinkle in Time is still one of my favorite books so I'm biased in its favor for 7th grade. It can also lead to some interesting research and WAC about science.

    The Giver, I discovered in a grad school class, can be a fantastic stepping stone for Inquiry Based Learning. Students can research creating a Community, the moral implications of euthanasia or any other topic. They can write what they think the rules of the Community might be, create their own version of the story from another character's POV or write an additional chapter of the aftermath of Jonas' departure.
     
  6. SunnyGal

    SunnyGal Companion

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    For 7th grade, I really liked A Wrinkle in Time or Where the Red Fern Grows. I actually have to do The Pearl with my sophomores. They don't like it, and I'm not too crazy about it, either.

    For 8th grade, definitely The Outsiders. SO GOOD! :)
     
  7. Samothrace

    Samothrace Cohort

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    Jan 4, 2010

    7th

    Wrinkle in Time, I loved that book, but I also remember reading Roll Of Thunder Hear My Cry in 6th grade if I'm not confusing titles.

    for 8th:
    Definately hands down The Giver or The Outsiders. I still have my copies of these books when I was in school and we did them. Good lessons in each!
     
  8. bandnerdtx

    bandnerdtx Aficionado

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    7th grade: Nothing but the Truth. My kids love this novel, and it's great for writing in lots of genres, too

    8th grade: The Giver. This is the one book that my high school kids universally remember from middle school.
     
  9. Hoot Owl

    Hoot Owl Aficionado

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    Wrinkle in Time and The Giver.
     
  10. myangel52

    myangel52 Comrade

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    I love both A Wrinkle in Time and The Giver, and can see both going in to some wonderful projects! They are wonderful books.
     
  11. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    I think A Wrinkle in Time is too juvenile (in some ways - not the themes, though) for middle school. I would go with Where the Red Fern Grows for 7th and The Giver for 8th.
     
  12. hatima

    hatima Devotee

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    7th:
    Nothing But the Truth
    The Pearl
    Where the Red Fern Grows
    these are the only three I'm familiar with...wasn't a huge fan of anyone of these. However, classmates of mine who were not readers did enjoy these. I was a big reader.

    8th:
    The Giver
    I so disliked this book in 8th grade, but I was the only one in my class who did dislike it. It scared me...a society that was so controlling. I reread it after reading Gathering Blue and Messenger which I liked a lot. So I figured The Giver couldn't be that bad. I reread it...it wasn't so bad...but it still so many years later scared me. I'd also consider books by Magaret Peterson Haddix, great debate points in her books. My classmates who were not readers were big on debate so she might be a motivating author for them...her books are short too.
     
  13. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    I almost couldn't stand reading aloud The Giver - but my kids wouldn't let me stop once we'd started.
     
  14. hernandoreading

    hernandoreading Comrade

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    I loved Nothing But The Truth! Great ook for making kids think, and my kids have always enjoyed it.

    The Giver is another that is very popular whenever I have seenit taught.
     
  15. Mr.MiddleSchool

    Mr.MiddleSchool Comrade

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    I teach Where the Red Fern Grows and it is a hit with my 7th graders! They seem to like hearing me "cuss" in class (there are three or so "naughty" words in the book; the B word, "hell" and "da**.") Aside from that I think it's a perfect middle school read.
     
  16. Mrs. K.

    Mrs. K. Enthusiast

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    I have taught Red Fern, to 7th graders - I think they liked it, but I could never keep from crying when we read the last chapter! The Outsiders is popular with kids all the way through high school.
     
  17. MrsCAD

    MrsCAD Companion

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    My 8th Graders LOVED The Outsiders! I had boys tearing up when Johnny died.
     
  18. teachertime

    teachertime Companion

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    Jan 20, 2010

    You've got some great choices to choose from:

    7th grade:

    I personally would have a difficult choice here, but I really like Nothing but the Truth especially if I could tie with the Social Studies teacher. There are so many issues you could address and have discussions in class. A really good novel.

    I then would have a toss-up between A Wrinkle in Time and Roll of Thunder, Here My Cry.--- The latter novel would be a great Black History month book. But then the kids would love A Wrinkle in Time... something that wouldn't take as much prep time and the kids usually love. Who doesn't love Madeleine L'Engle?

    The other novels are sorta harder to address. Call of the Wild can be dull in spots for kids to stay with (if they saw the movie, it would help). The Pearl, I did with 10th graders, where we went into the symbolism..it was a good book for them especially as a school starter. Where the Red Fern Grows is also a good book.

    8th Grade:

    Animal Farm can be read during 8th grade, but I feel it's a better book for high schoolers. There's deep material, even though the story is written in easy-to-read writing.

    I would go with either The Outsiders or The Giver--awesome books.


    Hopes this helps.
     
  19. countrygal

    countrygal Rookie

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    I really enjoyed Roll of Thunder, Hear my Cry! I despised A Wrinkle in Time!
     
  20. Chrissteeena

    Chrissteeena Companion

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    Jan 20, 2010

    7th- Where the Red Fern Grows

    8th- The Outsiders - it's such an awesome book!
     

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