My students need engaging dystopian books to read in small group book clubs.
Hooray! This project is fully funded
Hooray! This project is fully funded
In my school, students frequently begin the year timidly. It is their first taste of middle school, and the size of the building paired with the rigor of the work can be intimidating to many. However, students quickly learn that my classroom is a safe space where they can read, learn, and express their opinions without the fear of reprimand. The variety in my library allows students to find themselves in my classroom, and so I get to see a collection of excited, quirky, motivated readers who enjoy reading down the avenues of their personal expertise.
One thing is true about my students: they are driven towards self-improvement and devoted to making their voices heard.
I hear this, often, during Article of the Week discussions we hold in class where students have the opportunity to engage with one another on controversial issues. Similarly, many students come up from their intermediate school with a voracious desire to consume books, having been encouraged by the forty-book challenge they've taken in previous teachers' classrooms.
I am lucky that, in having students who enter at a wide range of levels, each one is motivated and eager to grow.
By the time we reach the second unit, Science Fiction and Fantasy, my seventh grade students are motivated readers who are well acquainted with the routines of the Reading Workshop. They have written about their reading every day for two months, and they're ready for the next step--to share those thoughts with a small group of their peers, building more authenticity and agency into their reading lives. In short: they're ready for book clubs; and now that Columbia Teachers College Reading and Writing Project has released their Dystopian Book Clubs unit, I'm ready to try them out, too. There is just one problem: our book room currently does not have enough variety to run book clubs around a specific genre like dystopia, nor do I have enough copies of any one title in my own library to accommodate the three classes of readers I teach.
By donating to this project, you will be putting high-interest, well-reviewed dystopian books into the hands of my students, allowing them to have deeper, more engaging conversations surrounding one of their favorite units.
Additionally, students will be able to read how different authors tackle the same theme, comparing how books like Among the Hidden and Scythe both tackle the problem of overpopulation. Similarly, the books are also at varying levels of difficulty, ensuring my entire population can have access to books that are appropriate for them.
As an added benefit, you will also be allowing me to pilot the Dystopian Book Clubs unit that I have already purchased, which will allow me to help other teachers through this process. This is, by no means, the main goal of this campaign (getting good books in students' hands is), but lifting the level of my practice, and helping others lift theirs, too, is a great side effect.
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