This Week's Teaching Discussion: I'm asking you to, first, pick a popular YA text. My rule of thumb was if a movie had been made out of it, it's probably popular. That's not the only rule, but it's not the worst one. It gives you the choice of any Harry Potter Book, all of Twilight, The Hunger Games, Percy Jackson even. There are probably many, many others.
THIS WEEK'S CLASS: You are teaching a 9th grade College Prep English class at Bridgewater/Raynham high school. You are working with a class of 35 students: 34 students are white, 1 student is Cape Verdean, 19 are female, 16 are male, one male student is openly gay.
The BR pass rate on the 10th grade MCAS is 84%.
Roughly 85% of the students in your class come from a household where at least one parent has some college education. You have two students in your class whose parents are on the faculty at Bridgewater State University.
You have limited access to technology in the classroom, but your students have access to computers, phones and the internet at home.
You can familiarize yourself with the school here.
THIS WEEK'S QUESTION: It's 9th Grade and you know what that means: Wherefore art thou Romeo--and Juliet, of course. R&J is one of those texts you can't get out of teaching if you are teaching 9th Grade English. Shakespeare, of course, always presents challenges in the classroom (for instance, for me, a play where 14 year olds sneak off, get married, and then kill themselves, but that's just me).
My challenge to all of you is to consider a popular YA text and think about how you could use that to help students really value and think about Romeo & Juliet. How could the one text serve as a bridge to better, richer, more useful understanding of the other? What cool things could you do? And, as always, what might be the joys of this plan? What might be less joyous?