4-24-14 Program Note: Load your A/V files now. Agenda: Book Talk #8 (humor, sports, adventure, romance) In-class description of unit Distribute final exam
Course Description: In accordance with the catalog description, you will “study … literature for the adolescent, including methods of introducing the major literary genres to the secondary school student.” Course Goals: Upon successful completion of this course, you should be able to design instructional units using YA novels alone or in conjunction with canonical works in ways appropriate to the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). You should also be familiar with a wide range of YA novels and authors, so you can recommend appropriate books to students for independent reading. Unit Plan: 20 pts Book talks + book reviews + author talk: 38 pts
According to the syllabus, "[u]pon successful completion of this course, you should be able to design instructional units using YA novels alone or in conjunction with canonical works in ways appropriate to the SC ELA standards. You should also be familiar with a wide range of YA novels and authors, so you can recommend appropriate books to students for independent reading." Choose ONE scenario from Group A (Designing Instructional Units) and ONE scenario from Group B (Recommending Appropriate Books), and respond to each. Your response should demonstrate your understanding of the concepts we have discussed this semester. There is no word-count requirement, but if you need a guideline, your two responses together should probably total 800-1200 words. Include the prompt (A1, or A2, B1 or B2) with your response. Note: Anything not specifically described in the scenario -- class size, minutes per class, block vs. traditional schedule, number of days/weeks in the unit, etc. -- you can make up. Just be sure to explain anything I need to know to understand your response.
Group A (Designing Instructional Units) A1. You are student teaching, and your cooperating teacher has assigned you to teach George Orwell's 1984 for a 10th grade honors class. When you ask about including some YA dystopian novels as companion pieces, he says he's not sure that YA lit is "serious enough" to stand with Orwell, but he's willing to let you try if you can persuade him that your unit will be vigorous. You have several weeks before the unit starts, so he asks you to draw up an outline of the unit -- the general timeline, the number and kinds of assignments -- along with a justification for using the YA novels. Create the outline and justification. A2. You are student teaching and have been assigned to teach Lord of the Flies to a heterogeneous (i.e., mixed-ability level) class of 10th graders. Your cooperating teacher, who has been teaching this book for years, considers it to be YA lit (because the characters are young), and can't understand why students seem not to enjoy it -- especially since she breaks it down into bite-sized chunks that they ought to be able to understand. When she shows you last year's lesson plans, your "readicide" alarm goes off because she has so many assignments for the kids. She has a wealth of materials you may use -- vocabulary worksheets, quizzes, writing activities, review games -- but has stressed that you are not required to use any of her resources unless you want to. In fact, you are welcome to bring in new materials or try a new approach. Design a new unit.
Group B (Recommending Appropriate Books) B1. You are student teaching for 10th and 12th graders, and your cooperating teacher uses "Free Reading Fridays" in which half the period on Friday -- 45 minutes of a 90-minute block -- is devoted to SSR. Some of your students are avid readers, but others have trouble "getting into" books. Explain what you might do to help those students who don't know what to read; include specific questions you might ask and/or specific books you might recommend. B2. You are teaching 7th grade, and your school recently received a $50,000 grant for library books, so you have a well-stocked school library. The school has a goal that every student will read 24 books a year, with "a book" defined as "100 pages," so a 400-page novel would count as 4 books, and English teachers are expected to devote 30 minutes per week to in-class reading. Classes meet daily for 50 minutes/day. The 6th grade teacher has warned you that several of your students are single-genre readers: some of the boys read only fantasy, one reads nothing but war stories, and there's a group of girls who read almost nothing but paranormal romance, with an emphasis on wolves and vampires. You want to honor your students' reading preferences, but you also want to expand their familiarity with other genres. Develop and describe a plan for to help your students try out some different genres. Turn in your exam by email no later than 4 pm on Thursday, May 1, as a MicroSoft Word document. Send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Next week: Final Exam due (via email) Brief discussion of final exam answers Closing comments, preview of ENGL 595 End-of-class celebration (location TBA)