The breakfast book club negotiating the borders between adolescent and adult literacy
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Books, Bagels, and Becoming Adult Readers: Partners in Learning Create the Breakfast Book Club NCTE Annual Convention, 2003 The Breakfast Book Club Negotiating the Borders Between Adolescent and Adult Literacy = + Background and Rationale

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Books, Bagels, and Becoming Adult Readers: Partners in Learning Create the Breakfast Book Club

NCTE Annual Convention, 2003

The Breakfast Book ClubNegotiating the Borders Between Adolescent and Adult Literacy

=

+


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Background and Rationale

As teachers of literature we sometimes wonder if our literary instruction, effective as it might be in the classroom, actually inspires our students to read for pleasure or if causes them to leave reading behind as they leave our classrooms. While students may willingly engage in school-sponsored, teacher-directed conversations about literature, there is speculation about the degree to which these discussions carry over into adult literacy practices and life-long pleasure reading.

Additionally, many students experience reading as a painful and onerous task, one that seems to hold little personal relevance. In other words, they wouldn't read if they didn't have to. Such concerns resulted in the conception of the Breakfast Book Club, an elective context in which adolescents are offered their own books in exchange for participating in non-teacher directed conversations about literature.


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Community Members

Teachers

Librarians

Students

Who Are the Partners in the Breakfast Book Club?


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Goals of the Breakfast Book Club

  • Encourage adolescents to become lifetime pleasure readers

  • Remediate the kind of traditional pedagogical practices that sometimes cause students to loathe rather than love literature

  • Help adolescents negotiate the border between school- sponsored reading and adult reading in the hopes of increasing their out-of-school reading

  • Expand our understanding of the gendered nature of literacy practices so that male and female adolescents, both urban and suburban, can become more engaged in reading

  • Use contemporary literature to build bridges between urban and suburban adolescents by providing a site for discussion of issues of race, class, and culture


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BBC Goals Reflect District, Curriculum, and Classroom Goals

  • District

    • Mission "....create responsible lifelong learners”

    • Search institute assets include reading for pleasure as one subset for "Constructive use of time"

  • Curriculum

    • New required selections in 6-12 are more engaging to students, reflect greater diversity, and include more contemporary authors

    • Close partnering with school librarians

  • Classrooms

    • 6-12 language arts include outside pleasure reading in part of each course

    • Elementary classrooms some variation of SSR






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Gender Dynamics

Membership by Gender(no data for 01-02)



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Student Response to the BBC

“Books can really open our minds to different cultures and make us more receptive to our own environment too.”

“The books brought strangers together; we were united by a common text.”

“Books Rule!”

“I was impressed by the level of thought and understanding of all the book readers. The ideas discussed were profound — I thought most people were only reading the book casually.”

“I was surprised how open people became about their lives when connected to books and how easy conversation was.”

“I found it very interesting to hear what other people of my age and of a different background had to say about the book. People had interesting input on how they would personally relate to the book. I didn’t relate a whole lot to the book so it added to my understanding by hearing what these other people had to say.”


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What We’ve Learned

AboutTeaching

AboutReading

AboutLiterature

AboutStudents


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Major funding provided by the Edina Education Fund

For handouts and a link to view this presentation, visit: http://www.edina.k12.mn.us/edinahigh/departments/media/index.htm#bbc


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