A Year of Reading!

This has been an amazing year. A year of reading, really. I have never had a group of students more motivated to read than this group. Not only have they taken on the tasks of reading and discussing deeply what we have required for class, but they have independently become searchers and researchers of great literature. 
 

We finished our Giver series today. Although these books were not part of our testing curriculum (and by that, I mean they were pure read alouds…for listening pleasure), we have learned so much from these books. Life lessons mixed with deep analytical discussions of literary devices were the name of the game with these books. I have learned through reading these this year that beauty is certainly in the eye of the beholder. I also feel that delivery is everything. Although Lois Lowry can be quite somber in her literary quest for great plot, she also has such poignant and beautiful themes. I chose, as the sole reader and guider of these read aloud days, to focus not on the trees but the forest. The forest (no pun intended…for those of you who have read The Messenger) was a magical place for us to have real conversations throughout our entire year about character and social issues such as honor, truth, love, kindness, and overall good vs. evil in our world. As far as literary analysis goes, I had students picking up on such intelligent topics as dramatic irony and point of view, an author’s use of characterization as well as foreshadowing and flashback. Where some teachers spend a year knee deep in work sheets, we accomplished these same goals by reading for pleasure and simply having conversations. What a way to end a year. It has truly been a journey of discovery this year. The main lesson we walked away with today, was that there is evil in this world that we can only fight with good. Evil feeds off of tragedy. Evil was finally destroyed today with love, generosity, selflessness. I can’t think of a better lesson for us all to learn than that. 

 Kwaylon and Mrs. DuBose reading Freedom Crossing
Free book grab!
A group of eager students! They have decided that Lois Lowry must write another book in the series. They are writing a summary of what it should be, and I will email it to her for them. Can’t wait to get her response!