Teaching Native American students has opened my eyes to a culture and way of life that most Americans rarely consider. Poverty and addiction are quite common on this reservation, which has created a reality in which 90% of our kids are considered "at risk." This means that most of our students may not finish high school, let alone go to college. I want my students to gain the skills that they need to compete in this world, and that world is filled with technology.
I teach on a Native American reservation, and it is a challenge to get my students excited about reading. Many have parents or grandparents who only speak in their native language, however, the kids speak more English in school. This means they have two languages, but are not fluent in either one. I want to involve parents by having a reader's theater night once or twice a month. Parents can practice reading scripts or graphic novels at home, then perform their scene for the other families. Studies show that kids who read at home are more likely to enjoy reading in school. They have better reading comprehension skills and they do better in all of their other classes. Graphic novels use dialogue to tell the story, so they would be an excellent tool to facilitate a reader's theater. It would also be a great way to introduce parents to a whole new genre.
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