OVERVIEW: This novel is an example of "genre fiction" (as opposed to literary fiction) in addition to being YA. In your post to the discussion board this week, in 300 words, discuss how the conventions of this genre (sci-fi/fantasy/horror) work with or against the conventions we see in YA. How could reading a novel like Dread Nation connect young people to the kinds of texts typically taught in a high school classroom? How could it connect young readers (or any readers) to our actual world? Respond thoughtfully in 100-200 words to a colleague.
A FEW NOTES: Most of you know genre fiction because it is often everything that you read that is not for school. Harry Potter? That's genre fiction--it's fantasy, I think that dominate pleasure reading genre for YA is fantasy. That's not an expert opinion, it's my sense of what years and years of students read. Other genres? Mystery. Sci Fi. I would call Hunger Games a kind of science fiction story in that it takes place without wizards and magic but instead relies on an alternate universe and a lot of technology. We will be reading one next week. Horror--Stephen King, for instance. Also, on the more adult end, things like romance. I offer this to help you think about what I mean when I say "genre" fiction.
Consider what we've been talking about as the conventions of YA Lit:
Think about the intersection of these two ideas about genre as you post.
OVERVIEW: Last week, I asked you to consider the novel Patron Saint of Nothing from a literary perspective. This week, I'm asking you to think about teaching this novel to a class. As you do, consider what you learned from doing your group's Pecha Kucha and consider, as well, the overall ideas you gleaned from watching and responding to other people's Pecha Kuchas.
PROMPT: Consider out test class and outline how you might teach the text you read last week, consider why it would be great to teach, how it would be hard to teach. Respond meaningfully (roughly 100-200 words) to at least one other classmate.
TEST CLASS: Let's go back to Brockton. Let’s say that you managed to convince the faculty and parents at Brockton High School to let you teach The Patro Saint of Nothing in a 12th grade College Prep English class. Some quick facts about Brockton High (from Wikipedia, so, you know, grain of salt) and in general:
OVERVIEW: The Patron Saint of Nothing was nominated for a National Book Award. You can read a review of the novel by clicking here. You can read about it's nomination by clicking here. The author, Randy Ribay, is an interesting guy. His undergraduate degree is in English, but his MA is in language and literacy through Harvard's College of Education. In that way, he is uniquely suited to writing YA: he understands the literature part of YA and he also understands a point that we've been trying to make all semester long: that YA lit teaches important literacy skills. The question for today's class is how do we see this in the novel itself?
PROMPT: In roughly 300 words, this YA novel was a finalist for a National Book Award? What, in your opinion, merits that recognition for a YA novel? Considering our YA/literature discussions, (a relationship to authority/coming of age/melodrama), how does that work in this novel? As always, treat the novel as worthy of serious discussion as a piece of literature. That means you need to identify what the theme of the novel is and what in the novel makes you think that. It's fine to include your reaction to the text, but the larger point is to analyze the text as you would in any 300 level literature class whose focus was on more obviously canonical works.
REPLY: once you've posted, reply to at least one colleague. You can identify another aspect of the text that supports the theme someone wrote about it. You can disagree with someone's reading of the text and explain why. You can take issue with what someone says about why it should be or shouldn't be recognized by the National Book Award folks. In any response, be sure to not simply say "yeah I totally agree."
Teaching poetry to young readers and writers can be challenging and also exciting. Prior to fake spring break, we spent two weeks looking a verse--poetry and a novel written in verse. We close out looking at verse and young adult readers with The Poet X, which mixes a bit of both.
Your prompt this week asks you to think about how you would engage students with poetry. You can consider all of the texts we've explored over this time, but do be sure to include The Poet X.
This Week’s Prompt: Let’s say that you managed to convince the faculty and parents at Brockton High School to let you teach The Poet X in a 12th grade English class that meets the outcomes for the International Baccalaureate Programme. Th IB is sort of like an internationally recognized version of AP. You can read about it here. Some quick facts about Brockton High (from Wikipedia, so, you know, grain of salt) and in general: