Every year I encounter students with variety of experiences with reading. Often times, students have negative experiences from a lack of connection to the books available to them. Reading seems like a task that must be checked off without choice or celebration.
This year, I want to bring art back into language arts.
My students take any opportunity to interact with different types of art when possible. There is a 10 student waitlist for each of my seven manga titles. My student work wall is covered in different artistic representations of their understanding-propaganda posters from dystopian stories and covers of favorite books.
In an agricultural community, engaging with art seems like a luxury but it should be an expectation.
My classroom has a variety of reading levels and I want to provide students with the choice of books that will give them access to new ideas and experiences. Graphic novels are a great way to engage every level of reader to different social issues, historical events, and fantastic worlds. John Lewis' March series will help students understand the civil rights movement from a unique and personal account, while Raina Telgemeier's Drama will entertain students with a witty diverse cast of characters.
Furthermore, students will be able to engage in academic discussions through book clubs with books that they have personally requested!
I have asked for seven different sets of chapter books to be used in book clubs. The books range in genre and complexity to match the needs of my students.
Lastly, students will be able to show their learning in new and creative ways with a class set of markers, color pencils, and cardstock.
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