Sunday, February 1, 2015

Establishing a Love for Literature at All Ages

Through Grace's elementary years we read lots of good literature. Our days revolved around read alouds for history, for English, and just for fun. It was our favorite parts of the day. I even continued to read aloud to her during middle school and just a little up through 9th grade. We enjoyed that time together and didn't want to let go. That changed this year with Grace being much more independent with her school work. One of her outside of the home classes is an analytical literature class. I could not be more pleased with the book choices for the class and also have loved hearing what Grace has thought about each book. Some of them I have never read. So far she has read The Outsiders, The Pearl, The Giver, Farenheight 451, and Animal Farm. The remainder of the year will focus on To Kill a Mockingbird and The Great Gatsby. By far her favorites have been The Outsiders and Animal Farm. She thought Animal Farm was incredibly depressing, thought provoking, and enjoyable - all at the same time. I am very eager to hear what she thinks of To Kill a Mockingbird and The Great Gatsby. The class tackles a book each month with much discussion among the students and writing activities revolving around the book. The class is taught every year with a different book list. I am quite sure that Grace will continue taking the class as most of her high school credits for English.

With Grace on her own in the reading department that left a lot of my time free. Well, in walks three 5th grade girls in need of tutoring. I decided to take the same path with them - introducing good literature through read alouds. Each month we tackle a new book. So far that would include Mr. Popper's Penguins, Black Beauty, Treasure Island, an Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. All have been enjoyable with the exception of (at least for me) Treasure Island. Next week we start Misty of Chincoteague. The girls started a horse unit with Black Beauty and have not finished it yet so I thought the obvious choice would be to read another crowd pleaser involving horses. What young girl doesn't love horses and Misty of Chincoteague. At the end of each book we tend to have a day of fun with activities themed from that book.

Reading has been such a huge part of my life I hope that for Grace and my tutoring students that they will grow up loving to read and have it become a big part of their lives as well.

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