Thursday, September 24, 2015

Throwback Thurdsay: Lessons from a Past Erin (5)

Throwback Thursday: Lessons from a Past Erin is a newer feature to The Hardcover Lover that allows me to share what I learned in my Young Adult Literature class. I've been setting the posts up like little mini-lessons, and so far, I'm having a blast exploring my past and seeing what you all have to say about what I learned in my YA Literature class.

I'm hoping that you're enjoying this new feature, but I must warn you that it's only here for a limited time! The class was only a fifteen week course, and eventually, I'm going to run out of notes! So grab a seat, and welcome to today's lesson!

Bell Ringer

You didn't have homework last week, so all of your minds should be fresh and ready for this week's lesson! Before reading on, I want you to take a few minutes to think about your reading habits. Do you have any dislikes? How did you read as a teen Once you've thought about them and have them in your head, you can move on and read the rest of the post.

Reading Turn Offs

Okay, we're all here because we love reading, so this lesson might seem a bit odd. It's just something that I have to address because at some point, you're going to run into someone who claims to dislike or hate reading. Maybe it's because they haven't found the right book yet. Or maybe it's because they've struggled and haven't found a way to like reading yet.

Below, you'll find a list that I created to explain why some people dislike reading. Some of the items may refer to reading independently, but others will refer to reading in class. 

♢ Being forced to read a book that a reader does not like
♢ Being forced to read a book that a reader does not understand
♢ Reading a book in a genre you dislike
♢ Doing too many activities with one book, especially worksheets
♢ Failing quizzes or tests based on the book or assigned reading
♢ Writing book reports
♢ Having to choose books from a limited pool or program
♢ Having no choice in reading what you want to read
♢ Participating in round robin readings
♢ Popcorn reading
♢ Feeling like ideas and opinions are being mocked instead of validated
♢ Reading a book or text but never having a conversation about it

So What Can We Do?

Unfortunately, there are a lot of items from the above list that cannot be avoided. Teachers have very little say in what they teach because of the rigorous academic standards that they have to hit, and often because the curriculum is already established by the time they are hired. But they can find ways to make teaching particular books fresh and new. It just takes a little bit of creative thinking.

Studying can also help, and there are so many resources out there that students can use to help them better understand their assigned readings. Yes, SparkNotes is still a thing, but there are also interactive websites and apps like Shmoop that can help you study and prepare for tests and quizzes. Some websites even have graphic organizers and essay topics to help you write a better essay or book report.

Parents can also be involved so that their teenagers are reading more outside of the classroom. The best advice that I can give to a parent is either read a book before your teen reads it, or grab a second copy and read it with them. Just don't censor them because you heard from a friend that a certain book is inappropriate. Answer their questions if anything comes up, but don't purposefully avoid anything that could lead to an awkward conversation. Your teen will like that you're being honest, instead of hiding something from them.

Class Discussion

Now I'd like to know what you think about assigned reading and possible reading turn offs? Did you have any qualms about reading as a student/teenager? Were there any books you refused to read? Did you parents/guardians censor certain books? Do you still have reading turn offs? What are some of them? What are some ways you found to help you enjoy reading?

Sound off in the comments below! I'm really interested to see what people have to say about this week's topic because a lot of us love reading, but who knows... maybe there was a reluctant reader in one of you... 

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