My seventh and eighth graders are intelligent, curious, sensitive, and empathetic students who love to engage in discussions about various topics. Their interests vary from music, theater, and sports to learning more about global warming, climate change, and other issues that impact their world. Usually, my students read lots of fiction in which characters experience apocalyptic worlds that have been affected by overpopulation, global warming, pollution, etc. However, they do not read enough higher level nonfiction/informational texts about the topics that emotionally appeal to them, and they do not do enough reading that resembles the reading they will do as they get older.
It is imperative that my students have access to texts that can teach them about these topics and give them a true understanding of the issues they care about and that will impact their future.
My students simply don't have access to high level nonfiction texts. There are lessons embedded in these texts that go beyond our classroom walls, and I know these students will use what they learn from these texts to make a difference!
My students love to read all sorts of fiction! However, they have so many unique interests and passions that they rarely explore through the reading of nonfiction texts. It is usually only when they are highly encouraged to read informational texts that students will pick up a nonfiction book, so my hope is that these titles (that were chosen based on my students' interests) will encourage them to read more nonfiction and fall in love with the genre. There is so much to learn from the books that have been chosen, and students will be able to gain a better understanding of the Holocaust, Civil Rights movement, LGBTQ leaders and rights, pollution, global warming, etc. and open their minds, their eyes and their hearts.
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