Monday, June 23, 2014

Making Up For Monday: English Class

It's time for Making Up For Monday!

This week's question: If you were a high school English teacher, what five books would you put on your reading list?

I squeal  with glee on this topic because I would LOVE to teach English to high school students!  I feel like you can either make or break readers in high school. I would want the students to discover not only the joy of reading, but the variety.  So here are my choices:

1. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee:  This book was in my high school curriculum and I fell in love. I love the characters and the depth of the situations that she covered. While the main story is about a trial, Atticus teaches his kids so much more through their interactions with neighbors and schoolmates. It's a wonderful tale and I would have it at the top of my list.

2. Animal Farm by George Orwell:  This story is far more entertaining than 1984, and let's face it, high school students need to be entertained. Besides, I think it's a great idea to show how Orwell took something serious, that he felt strongly about, and made a light, humorous tale about it, without losing the seriousness. Team this up with a history lesson of Lenin and Stalin and you could spend quite a lot of time on this.

3. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain: The tale of kid who thought he knew everything, only to learn that the world was filled with things he didn't understand and that he had a long way to go is a perfect book for a bunch of "invincible" teenagers to read.

4. Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut: You are taught at a young age that stories have a beginning, a middle, and an end. Vonnegut proves that that doesn't mean your story has to be in chronological order. Slaughterhouse Five doesn't fit into a specific category, at least not perfectly.  Vonnegut didn't follow the rules when he wrote this, something I think every writer should know.  The rules are more like guidelines. :)

5. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald: Speaking of books not going the way they should, this book is a perfect example of writing complex characters, who aren't exactly the most honorable and guiding the story for such characters.

Ok, your turn....what would you put on you syllabus.

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