The Future of Reading - ‘Reading Workshop’ Approach Lets Students Pick the Books - Series - NYTimes.com: "For years Lorrie McNeill loved teaching “To Kill a Mockingbird,” the Harper Lee classic that many Americans regard as a literary rite of passage.
But last fall, for the first time in 15 years, Ms. McNeill, 42, did not assign “Mockingbird” — or any novel. Instead she turned over all the decisions about which books to read to the students in her seventh- and eighth-grade English classes at Jonesboro Middle School in this south Atlanta suburb."
(click the link above to read the rest)
A dear friend of mine has been teaching English this way to her middle-schoolers for several years. I've met with her students and they are fantastic--thoughtful, engaged, widely read. But, it's true, she's teaching in a small independent school, with motivated students--and parents who chose a non-traditional curriculum. I wonder how this would work in a larger setting, with kids who aren't strong readers? I've got to believe it might be worth a try...
Musings on children's and YA literature, the academy, and the relationship between them, from an English professor and mother.