Working in an urban vocational high school that presents many challenges. One challenge, in particular, is getting my students engaged in reading. Many of my students, when asked the first day of school about their reading lives, tell me they are not readers. They do not view themselves as readers and do not see the value in reading... yet!
Once we hit the end of October, many of those same students, when introduced to our classroom library, can't wait for our daily reading time.
The joy of reading after so many years of avoiding or fake reading is contagious. It comes down to helping them see the power of books, especially engaging books they can relate to.
My hope and goal is that by the end of our year together, my students will be on the path to becoming lifelong readers and writers, ready to face an unpredictable world.
As a champion of developing students' reading identity, it's important to offer them complex texts that will not only engage them but will have them think of how classic literature still has connections to our modern-day society. Bringing Animal Farm into our 10th grade classroom for both the College Prep and Inclusion sections will ensure all students have access to a text that will challenge their thinking and will pair naturally with non-fiction articles, poetry, and other mentor texts.
My urban vocational students deserve the rich language, the timeless themes, and the thought-provoking nature of a book such as Animal Farm.
My hope is this text will spur discussion about the qualities of good leadership, the use of propaganda in our society, and the role satire plays in literature, which will help inspire my students to read other important works of fiction. This book could be the gateway of a life of not just reading but reading thought-provoking books they never were exposed to in middle school.
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