Question Detail

Senior English teachers-need content

May 14, 2013 4:14pm

Working to write new curriculum for Senior English. Reading and writing. Wondering what others are doing in general. Always use overarching theme per quarter for reading content, I ran with genre specific writing, but could use some more ideas. What do you do at your school?


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    • May 18, 2013 9:08pm

      I use content that fits my goals and objectives. Some classes use an anthology like Holt McDougall, British Literature Edition; another uses an anthology by Pearson Longman, and another might use only novels. You have to determine what you want to accomplish and the skills and abilities that you aim for your students. A Theme per quarter might suit some or it may not depending on the teacher's requirements. I use essential questions in class to get students thinking from the first few moments.

      • May 28, 2013 9:05pm

        Advice for teaching Poisonwood Bible: assign small groups of students to lead discussion on any given night's reading. I discovered that students do not respond well to my discussion questions for this book. Last year, when I asked about this, a student informed me, "It's like you're reading a different book than I'm reading." When I turn the leadership over to the students, they find so much in this text for them and their peers. In addition to having them lead discussions on a particular night's reading, I also finish the novel by having students break into five groups with each group leading a period-long discussion focused on one of the five narrators. Interesting how these two types of discussion turn out so differently.

        • May 28, 2013 9:06pm

          Heart of Darkness requires more teacher-led discussion. Also, when reading Heart of Darkness, I always have students read Chinua Achebe's response to the novel. This stirs up debate and gets them thinking about who gets to establish the truth. Come to think of it, if you had time, it would make sense to read Things Fall Apart by Achebe in connection with Kingsolver and Conrad--we do this book in the junior curriculum, but if you had time and resources. For full disclosure, my discomfort with the Kingsolver-Conrad combination is that they're two authors of European descent writing about Congo.