I am often asked how I work with students when reading controversial texts. The controversy, for me, isn’t whether the book is on this year’s list of “most challenged books,” it’s how to create a personal connection between the events in the book and the students’ personal lives. My biggest challenge is to teach the process of digesting information about a topic in a way … Continue reading Wouldn’t It Be Amazing If Every Book Had a Map In It?
Literature has not always played a huge role in my life. As a kid, I was a voracious reader—I read anything I could get my hands on. But starting in junior high, I found myself reading less and less. As I look back on it, I’m sure there were a number of reasons. Life got busier in junior high, with more independence, friends, and extra … Continue reading Teaching the Global Goals with Nasreen’s Secret School
When I was younger, I considered myself an active reader. I learned to read at a young age, and my grandmother was a teacher. She always gave my sister and me signed Tomie dePaola books like Strega Nona and The Quilt Story. When I reached the third grade, the Wayside School series by Louis Sachar captivated me with the silly short stories of all the … Continue reading The Geography of Harry Potter
In the U.S., banned book history began when the Southern states banned Uncle Tom’s Cabin. Most post-Civil War challenges were over books that were considered “indecent,” even though no one could agree on what was indecent and what was not. In 1982, however, there was a renewal in efforts to ban books in schools and public libraries across the United States. Thus, Banned Book Week … Continue reading Appalachia and The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls
When I was a new teacher, I often overlooked the power of picture books and graphic novels in my junior high classroom. I was afraid that if an administrator walked in and they saw me using a picture book or a graphic novel, they would think I was crazy and that I was babying my students. I fear that many new teachers miss out … Continue reading Powerful Picture Books & Graphic Novels (Possibly overlooked in the classroom but not by censors)