My students are beautifully diverse in every way. They speak many different languages and have varied experiences. There are some students facing serious challenges including mental illness, abandonment, and poverty.
Our language arts classroom unites us as we explore social issues through literature.
We use book clubs as a way to discuss tough topics while harnessing the power of inspirational stories. Our exploration of literature improves students' literacy skills, and the interpersonal connections made through the study of literature leads to a more accepting and kind classroom.
With every unit comes intense excitement... followed by moans of disappointment when there aren't enough copies of the "best" books to form book clubs or reading pairs. Books about social justice, like Claudette Colvin and I Will Always Write Back are favorites. Additionally, the book called Vincent and Theo is tremendously popular. The Van Gogh brothers share an amazing friendship, but they struggle with mental illness during a time period when it's very misunderstood. The book (much like Vincent's art) is breathtaking.
This project will enable more students to read the most popular titles while working collaboratively in partnerships or book clubs.
When working in pairs or groups, students develop important social and interpersonal communication skills while thinking deeply about themes, character development, and life lessons. Together, they set reading goals and work as a team to analyze literature.
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