Tuesday, September 23, 2014

English for the Reluctant Reader and Writer

I am teaching a class this year for my son and a few other homeschool high schoolers. I am calling it "High School English for the Reluctant Reader and Writer".   Do you know anyone like that?

Reading is a chore for J, akin to lugging heavy rocks across a field. Writing might be even worse. But I am determined to break through and impart at least a bit of my love for reading and writing to these kids.  My strategy is to engage them in compelling literature, allowing them to use audio recordings if they like, going fairly slowly through the text, involving them in bite-sized research and class presentations ( "sharing" - less imposing than"presentation", don't you think?) , using multi-media like Prezi, Slideshare, movie clips, etc.

Our first book is The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins.  I chose this book to start with for a few reasons.  It is current and popular with young people. The kids have all seen the movie and are familiar with the storyline.  It is also easy to read, engaging because it is written in 1st person, has a lot of suspense, is full of interesting connections to history and current events, and there are a good amount of resources available online! It also provides some great opportunities to discuss important values such as courage, loyalty, compassion, freedom, responsibility, etc.  We'll spend 6 weeks studying this book and watching the movie, and then we'll tackle The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Animal Farm, The Gift of the Magi, Great Expectations, To Kill A Mockingbird, The Importance of Being Earnest, and The Hobbit.

I have created a blog where I am sharing links, resources, and ideas from the class:  Raising Literati.

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