Monday, September 23, 2013

BS in Literature

I teach a one quarter reading course for the sixth graders on my team. They have four reading teachers over the course of the year, each of us focusing on reading in our content area-- reading in math, reading in science, reading in social studies, and my class, reading in language arts. Because the focus is on non-fiction text, the time the students spend with me is focused on memoir and other forms of creative non-fiction.

Since we only have nine weeks together, we read lots of short memoirs and excerpts, as well as other literature that thematically compliments those selections. For example, so far this year we have read pieces by Jack Gantos, Sandra Cisneros, Billy Collins, and John Scieszka. Another component of the course is having the students write about their own lives, and to tie it together, today the assignment was to read a piece that I wrote.

Oh! I expected it to be well-received, but with this sly group the flattery was so deep I needed a shovel.

"Can you sign mine?" one student started.

"Wait until you read it," I advised.

"Wow!" said someone else a little bit later. "That was the best thing we have read all year!"

I raised my eyebrows. "Realllllllllly?" I replied. "Better than... Jack Gantos?" He nodded vigorously and I continued.

"Sandra Cisneros?

... John Sciesszka?


He continued nodding and I waved at him a bit dismissively.

"Really!" he said. "I don't know what you're doing here. You should be on a book tour!"

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