Hello! My students live in a northern rural district that is geographically quite spread out. So, their interests include various winter activities like snowboarding, skiing, and snowmobiling, and summer activities like dirtbiking and swimming, as well as the typical teen activities you'd expect. In the nearby university community there is some opportunity for cultural experiences, but they don't all seek those out.
My sophomores need to see reading not only as a life-long skill, but as a legitimate form of entertainment!
They include several economically disadvantaged students who don't have much access to books at home, or who don't have a reading role model at home. In addition, they also include many students who simply use social media for their only reading material. I'm passionate about showing students that reading is fulfilling and enjoyable at any age and helping to find the right book for each student.
My sophomores need a title that they can read not only to engage their critical thinking skills, but for ENJOYMENT. That title is And Then There Were None, by Agatha Christie, the ultimate whodunit mystery! So many students have lost the joy of reading that including a title from one of the most popular leisure reading genres on best seller lists, mysteries, can show them that reading is fun at any age.
Agatha Christie's masterpiece will suck students into reading before they know it - and they will be able to put the inductive and deductive reasoning skills they are learning in my geometry class to use.
Because I have many of my sophomore English students in my geometry class, it is the perfect cross-curricular opportunity! And with some of the Native American references that are less than appropriate, there is also a much needed opportunity in our current climate for a lesson on cultural ignorance versus respect.
One of the final components of this mystery unit will be a murder mystery "dinner" challenge that our media center aide and I will put on for students to try their hand at solving outside of the classroom, complete with mood setting music and treats. We did this after borrowing and studying Murder on the Orient Express last year and it was a fantastic finale! But, having taught both at another high school, And Then There Were None is really the title that students get into and remember for years to come.
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