One of the strategies I started using this year to get my students interested in stories is the read-aloud. I had a novel that I read aloud to the class when we’d have extra time at the end of the period. The only one we got to this year was Dreadlocks by Neal Shusterman, but I already have a list lined up for the fall, including Sherman Alexie’s The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, Sharon G. Flake‘s The Skin I’m In, and Richard Wright‘s Rite of Passage. I might pull in some more Shusterman, but I haven’t decided yet. Hopefully, the book talks I’m planning to put into my weekly podcast will help me and the students decide what I should read to them–what will get them interested in reading the most.
My favorite book off of her list has to be The Giver by Lois Lowry. I recently finished the third in the series, called Messenger. Fantastic. I should have blogged about it, but I think it’s one of the novels I read recently that has yet to make it up here.
One aspect of TheReadingZone’s post that I particularly liked was her students’ comments on their novels. She mentions that she has students read a variety of genres, authors, etc. so at least something resonates with each of her students. What I like even more was that she has them register an opinion. I want to take a page out of her book.
The List of novels (and only the novels) I’m considering for my 8th graders (they’ll get to choose)
- The Giver by Lois Lowry (of course — and I might teach this full class instead of small group)
- Number the Stars by Lois Lowry
- Hatchet by Gary Paulsen
- Bad Boy: A Memoir by Walter Dean Myers
- Tangerine by Edward Bloor
- That Was Then, This Is Now by S. E. Hinton
I think there might be more on that list, but I can’t remember off the top of my head.