Saturday, November 3, 2012

Introducing S P E A K (the novel)

I am pumped about the novel I am currently teaching.

This year it has been difficult for me to get my bearings because of a number of annoyances and changes, but I think I'm finally getting the hang of it after twelve weeks of the semester having slipped by and with it my best attempts at ruining both The Odyssey and Romeo and Juliet for some of the brightest kids I've had chance to work with.

Nevertheless, I am totally pumped about teaching Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson because my students are SO into it.

We're focusing on the following essential questions throughout this unit:
Is it possible to speak without spoken words; how is this connected to the concept of finding one’s voice?
What role does the concept of identity play in the novel?
How do imagery, symbolism, and the connotative meanings of language help develop themes within the novel?
Consider how rumors and truth can be connected. Is one more powerful that the other?

And I am even finding myself looking forward to our first close reading of the text because after the Pre-Reading Discussion we had, I think the kids are really going to be able to converse with this text in a way I hadn't expected.

So, I'm keeping my fingers crossed that we'll be able to ride this out until, at very least, the end of the semester... but if we can't at least we had that first awesome discussion!

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