I remember when I sat in on this Young Adult Literature class that I watched lesson after lesson hoping that these students would give me a great idea that I could bring back to my own classroom, but that never happened. The lessons they chose to teach didn't seem practical; the lessons also didn't seem to have a point or a purpose. The objectives were in "Edu-Engfish." I remember stressing about how to write objectives that sounded like fancy objectives, but those sentences were pointless until I actually used them. I had to tell the class at the beginning what I wanted them to focus on, and then at the end, I went back to that informal objective I announced to see if we got somewhere. I remember not knowing that was how objectives worked for a long time.
Here are the things that I have brainstormed that seem important to talk about in this class:
- align objectives and assessment
- What is young adult literature?
- Why do you need to "know" young adult lit?
- Read y.a. lit.
- explore reader response--a lot--especially aesthetic response
- explore critical theory
- Use Think Alouds and use Wilhelm's book as a reference
- try lots of reader response
- have a list of reader response and reading strategies that students can pull from and use in their lessons
- the lessons need to be centered around books they are likely to teach--I would like to see the lessons they teach be centered around books that we read together--Of Mice and Men, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, To Kill a Mockingbird.
- the lessons needs to include writing, sharing, reader response, and reading strategies
- we need to think of students as taking a reading apprenticeship from us--not my term, but I love it.
- discuss the various ways to engage students in reading
- discuss stages of literary appreciation
- write a reading autobiography
- look at Allen's characteristics of effective teachers of language and literacy
- discuss shared reading, read-alouds, book passes, book talks--go over Beers 7 tips for selling books to students
- discuss how to facilitate and keep track of independent reading
- discuss building a classroom environment that encourages reading
- pair a read aloud with a young adult text
- think about how to organize discussions--work on listening and using what you hear guide the discussion rather than letting the questions you create guide the discussion
- actively search and brainstorm and write down, informally, ideas for lessons that you have--share and collaborate with your peers
If anyone reads this, can you add to this. What else should we talk about discuss? If you have taught literature, what do you wish you had known before you started?