My students need the teacher's guide and 40 copies of the novel The Great Gatsby to read during our American Dream Thematic Unit.
Today's students are non-readers, especially those who are struggling readers. Many of my 11th and 12th grade students have never read a novel. Or if they have, it has been one geared toward middle schoolers. How will these students survive or even go to college without more opportunities to read?
My students are non-readers.
This could be because many of them are second language learners, but it is more than that. Most of them won't take an English textbook, which weighs far too much, home. Or if they do, they will only take it home once and it will never see the classroom again. Most students leave the humongous textbook in their lockers, or they just leave it on their desks. These are inner city kids, and they know it's not cool to read. And it's definitely uncool to carry a heavy textbook back and forth. Why don't we just watch the movie, they ask. Then there's the problem of funding. If we do have novels for the students, we don't have enough for the entire class, especially with today's increased class sizes. So what we do have goes to one or two teachers and my students generally do without. How will my students learn to read if they haven't the texts available? These are good kids, and most of them do want to learn. I need the resources to teach them.
We need the teacher's guide and 40 copies of the novel The Great Gatsby to read during our American Dream Thematic Unit. With this set of novels my students will have an opportunity to read on their own. The Great Gatsby is not overwhelmingly long, but it is dense and can be related to their lives. Do they believe in the American Dream or is it just for the rich? Do they believe they are excluded from the American Dream and, if so, why? They will learn about the time period following World War I, the Jazz Age, and about the disillusionment that came with the materialism, especially because of the disparity between the rich and poor. This novel is rich is discussion material, in symbolism, in theme and moral issues, and in vocabulary. My students would begin to see that the disillusionment of the jazz age is pertinent to the disillusionment these teens feel today.
I want my students to experience what it's like to read a novel that will, hopefully, have an enormous impact on the way they view life.
Maybe then, and if they all have a copy, they will begin to see value in reading. My goal is to turn many of my nonreaders into lifelong readers. With the right resources, it should be possible.
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|Great Gatsby -Teachers Guide Grade • AKJ Books||$10.46||1||$10.46|
|The Great Gatsby F. Scott Fitzgerald • Barnes and Noble||$9.57||40||$382.80|
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