The Horn Book » Lolly’s Classroom http://www.hbook.com Publications about books for children and young adults Wed, 26 Nov 2014 17:37:35 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.8.5 Last adolescent lit class http://www.hbook.com/2014/11/blogs/lollys-classroom/last-adolescent-lit-class/ http://www.hbook.com/2014/11/blogs/lollys-classroom/last-adolescent-lit-class/#respond Tue, 25 Nov 2014 11:01:13 +0000 http://www.hbook.com/?p=43270 For our last class, students are reading The Fault in Our Stars, which I offer as a “dessert book” after their hard work this term, and also as a comparison love story to Eleanor and Park from our second week. The class will also read Katrina and Rachel’s take on “What Makes a Good Love […]

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green fault 189x300 Last adolescent lit classFor our last class, students are reading The Fault in Our Stars, which I offer as a “dessert book” after their hard work this term, and also as a comparison love story to Eleanor and Park from our second week. The class will also read Katrina and Rachel’s take on “What Makes a Good Love Story” (and their follow up post on Eleanor and Park). In their excellent round up, Katrina and Rachel ask, “What creates [the] magic” in a love story, the stuff that makes us “fall hopelessly in love alongside the characters”?

Hordes of adolescent (and adult) readers have fallen in love with TFIOS. What are the “magical” elements of this novel that make it so beloved? Does it share any with Eleanor and Park, or other great YA love stories? Or do the best love stories offer something unique? Feel free to add your own favorites to the conversation.

This week’s readings:

  • The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
  • “What Makes a Good Love Story” by Katrina Hedeen and Rachel L. Smith from Horn Book Magazine, May/June 2013
  • and addendum on Eleanor and Park from Out of the Box blog, April 17, 2013

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Using comics in your classroom http://www.hbook.com/2014/11/blogs/lollys-classroom/using-comics-classroom/ http://www.hbook.com/2014/11/blogs/lollys-classroom/using-comics-classroom/#comments Thu, 20 Nov 2014 11:01:54 +0000 http://www.hbook.com/?p=43241 Last month, I was fortunate to be able to attend several sessions at the Comics and the Classroom symposium offered as part of the Massachusetts Independent Comics Expo (MICE) on October 5th. The symposium, which was the first of what they hope will become an annual event as part of MICE, brought together a number […]

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marekbennett intelligences 300x478 Using comics in your classroom

One of the panels from Marek Bennet’s “Multiple Intelligences” sequence. http://marekbennett.com/2011/02/28/multiple-intelligences-comics-education/

Last month, I was fortunate to be able to attend several sessions at the Comics and the Classroom symposium offered as part of the Massachusetts Independent Comics Expo (MICE) on October 5th. The symposium, which was the first of what they hope will become an annual event as part of MICE, brought together a number of comics artists and educators to discuss how comics can be incorporated into the classroom at various levels.

The day started off with a session by Marek Bennett, the creator of Slovakia: Fall in the Heart of Europe, an educator who offers comics workshops for students of all ages, and is one of the Applied Cartooning Program Advisors at the Center for Cartoon Studies. The program teaches students to use cartoons and visual communications techniques in realms outside of comic books or graphic novels. He talked about the way that the styles and techniques of comics can be brought to education in all fields to make subjects more memorable, engaging, and understandable. While the program Bennett works with is aimed at graduate students pursuing a Master of Fine Arts degree, he explained how the techniques can be brought to any age group by adapting assignments to incorporate visual elements where there previously may have been only text and walked us through the Applied Cartooning Manifesto. He also displayed this approach in the form of his own visual article on Multiple Intelligences and placed the approach in a historical context that includes Trajan’s Column and the Bayeux Tapestry. A discussion afterwards with the attendees brought up several ways teachers could use these ideas to help students express emotions and advocate for social change.

The second session of the symposium was presented by Michael Gianfrancesco and covered how he teaches close reading techniques using graphic novels. He talked about how, inspired by the work of Nancy Frey and Douglas Fisher, he created a curriculum that uses graphic novels, and particularly wordless graphic novels, such as segments of Will Eisner’s New York: Life in the City, to teach students to identify what is obvious, implied and assumed in their reading of a work. Taking text out of the process helps to simplify it by paring it down to its basics but also engages students, many of whom already enjoy comics and manga. After students have worked out what is obvious, implied, and assumed in each comic, they are also prompted to think more about their assumptions, sometimes even writing stories based on what they assumed when first reading the comic. Since he teaches in Rhode Island, a state that has adopted the Common Core, Gianfrancesco has tied his curriculum in to specific sections of the Common Core and uses it with students in multiple tracks at his school. He recommended New York: Life in the City, Bottomless Belly Button by Dash Shaw, A.D.: New Orleans After the Deluge by Josh Neufeld, and Stitches by David Small as works that could be used to teach close reading in high school classes.

I also attended a panel discussion between three artists who create educational comics. Two of the artists, Jason Rodriguez and Joel Gill, have written graphic novels on historical topics that aim to educate readers and have been incorporated into classrooms. The final panelist, Cathy Leamy, works on comics that foster health literacy. Leamy discussed the field of graphic medicine which includes both comics aimed at improving health literacy by explaining complicated medical topics through visuals and comics by healthcare professionals and patients as a way of expressing their emotions. One of the highlights of this last panel was a debate between the panelists (and some members of the audience) about how to balance facts and storytelling in their works. This discussion highlighted both the difficulties that authors face in ensuring that their works are accurate, engaging, and clear and the importance that educators place on using materials in the classroom that portray facts correctly.

I found each of the sessions very interesting and useful. If you have an opportunity to attend MICE or the Comics and the Classroom symposium next year, I would highly recommend it.

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Pictures (adolescent lit class #5) http://www.hbook.com/2014/11/blogs/lollys-classroom/pictures/ http://www.hbook.com/2014/11/blogs/lollys-classroom/pictures/#respond Tue, 18 Nov 2014 11:03:41 +0000 http://www.hbook.com/?p=43147 This week’s class (Nov. 24, 2014) focuses on visual literacy: pictures in young adult literature, in works of both fiction and nonfiction. I offer some questions in the individual posts about the role of these books in the classroom; as always, feel free to respond in other ways with your thoughts on any of this […]

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pictures week 548x5271 Pictures (adolescent lit class #5)

This week’s class (Nov. 24, 2014) focuses on visual literacy: pictures in young adult literature, in works of both fiction and nonfiction. I offer some questions in the individual posts about the role of these books in the classroom; as always, feel free to respond in other ways with your thoughts on any of this week’s titles.

Here’s what we are reading, with links to the two individual posts where you can comment.

Picture books

  • The Arrival by Shaun Tan (Scholastic, 2007)
  • The Tree of Life: Charles Darwin by Peter Sís (Farrar, 2003)

Graphic novels

  • Boxers and Saints by Gene Luen Yang (First Second, 2013)
  • Yummy: The Last Days of a Southside Shorty by G. Neri, illustrated by Randy DuBurke (Lee & Low, 2010)

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Two picture books http://www.hbook.com/2014/11/blogs/lollys-classroom/two-picture-books/ http://www.hbook.com/2014/11/blogs/lollys-classroom/two-picture-books/#comments Tue, 18 Nov 2014 11:02:45 +0000 http://www.hbook.com/?p=43158       The Arrival by Shaun Tan (Scholastic, 2007) The Tree of Life: Charles Darwin by Peter Sís (Farrar, 2003) Illustrated books can be easily overlooked for and by adolescents, who may see picture books as the domain of small children only. Sophisticated titles such as Shaun Tan’s The Arrival or elaborate, finely detailed works […]

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arrival Two picture books       sis tree of life Two picture books

The Arrival by Shaun Tan (Scholastic, 2007)
The Tree of Life: Charles Darwin by Peter Sís (Farrar, 2003)

Illustrated books can be easily overlooked for and by adolescents, who may see picture books as the domain of small children only. Sophisticated titles such as Shaun Tan’s The Arrival or elaborate, finely detailed works from Peter Sís offer rich rewards for older readers. (Sís’s The Wall elucidated Soviet censorship of art for my 10th graders while reading One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich.)

How might you use these books in the middle or high school classroom? Would those students be amenable/open to illustrated books? What do pictures offer that text alone does not?

 

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Three graphic novels http://www.hbook.com/2014/11/blogs/lollys-classroom/three-graphic-novels/ http://www.hbook.com/2014/11/blogs/lollys-classroom/three-graphic-novels/#comments Tue, 18 Nov 2014 11:01:53 +0000 http://www.hbook.com/?p=43164           Boxers and Saints by Gene Luen Yang (First Second, 2013) Yummy: The Last Days of a Southside Shorty by G. Neri, illustrated by Randy DuBurke (Lee & Low, 2010) Graphic novels are enjoying a surge of interest and critical attention. Gene Luen Yang’s American Born Chinese was the first graphic novel nominated for […]

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boxers Three graphic novels     saints Three graphic novels     neri yummy 217x300 Three graphic novels

Boxers and Saints by Gene Luen Yang (First Second, 2013)

Yummy: The Last Days of a Southside Shorty by G. Neri, illustrated by Randy DuBurke (Lee & Low, 2010)

Graphic novels are enjoying a surge of interest and critical attention. Gene Luen Yang’s American Born Chinese was the first graphic novel nominated for a National Book Award and was the winner of the 2007 Printz Award. In the two volumes Boxers and Saints, Yang depicts the Boxer Rebellion in China from two very different perspectives. Yummy: The Last Days of a Southside Shorty, written by G. Neri and illustrated by Randy DuBurke, is a fictionalized account of a very young gang member on the run for murder. Graphic novels have been welcomed into high school classrooms (notably Gareth Hinds’s masterful retellings of literary classics, such as Romeo and Juliet and Beowulf), and many teens already devour comics (as Yang calls all such works).

How might students learn from these texts? Should they be paired with more traditional texts to be meaningful, or can a graphic novel study stand alone? Common Core Standards require students to be able to “Integrate and evaluate content presented in diverse formats, including visually, quantitatively.”* How important is visual literacy for our students?

* From College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Reading #7

 

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Fantasy and science fiction http://www.hbook.com/2014/11/blogs/lollys-classroom/fantasy-science-fiction/ http://www.hbook.com/2014/11/blogs/lollys-classroom/fantasy-science-fiction/#respond Wed, 12 Nov 2014 02:10:58 +0000 http://www.hbook.com/?p=43048 This week’s topic is “Beyond the World We Know” — a category that encompasses an extensive range of books, from magical realism to science fiction to the far away places of imaginary worlds. Jane Langton’s classic piece on fantasy from the 1973 Horn Book, “The Weak Place in the Cloth” provides an apt and lovely […]

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fantasy2014 Fantasy and science fiction

This week’s topic is “Beyond the World We Know” — a category that encompasses an extensive range of books, from magical realism to science fiction to the far away places of imaginary worlds. Jane Langton’s classic piece on fantasy from the 1973 Horn Book, “The Weak Place in the Cloth” provides an apt and lovely metaphor for the various ways that authors peek through, or break open, the barrier between reality and fantasy.

This week we are reading two novels: Far Far Away by Tom McNeal and Feed by M. T. Anderson. Students will also read Kristin Cashore’s piece “Hot Dog, Katsa!” on the pitfall-laden task of world-building. Please do your commenting on the three individual posts.

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Far Far Away http://www.hbook.com/2014/11/blogs/lollys-classroom/far-far-away/ http://www.hbook.com/2014/11/blogs/lollys-classroom/far-far-away/#comments Wed, 12 Nov 2014 02:07:49 +0000 http://www.hbook.com/?p=43044 Folk and fairy tales have long been fodder for writers, who re-tell, borrow, fracture, and invert the original stories in their own. I would suggest that Tom McNeal bends the relationship between fairy tale and novel in a new way in his suspenseful tale Far Far Away. What do others think about blending of new […]

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far far away Far Far AwayFolk and fairy tales have long been fodder for writers, who re-tell, borrow, fracture, and invert the original stories in their own. I would suggest that Tom McNeal bends the relationship between fairy tale and novel in a new way in his suspenseful tale Far Far Away. What do others think about blending of new and old? What does the novel suggest about the power of story? About the role of folklore in both literature and our psyche?  What else strikes you about this story that is wholly original yet draws deeply on common lore?

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Feed http://www.hbook.com/2014/11/blogs/lollys-classroom/feed-2/ http://www.hbook.com/2014/11/blogs/lollys-classroom/feed-2/#comments Wed, 12 Nov 2014 02:06:04 +0000 http://www.hbook.com/?p=43046 At first perusal, M.T. Anderson’s Feed is an entertaining tale of privileged futuristic teens who spend spring break on the moon. Their carelessness about the environment, their pitiful lack of knowledge, and technology-induced overstimulation seems so exaggerated as to invite easy laughter. Not far into the book, however, we start to recognize every aspect of […]

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feed FeedAt first perusal, M.T. Anderson’s Feed is an entertaining tale of privileged futuristic teens who spend spring break on the moon. Their carelessness about the environment, their pitiful lack of knowledge, and technology-induced overstimulation seems so exaggerated as to invite easy laughter. Not far into the book, however, we start to recognize every aspect of their lives as a mirror for the foibles in our own — satire at its best. As a high school teacher, I am hard-pressed to find a novel more provocative of rich discussion than Feed—about the dangers of technology, about the evolution (or devolution) of language, about our obligations as global citizens. But as technology catches up with the 2002 publication’s originally far-fetched vision of an internet-chip implanted in our brains, is the novel running out of time? What does it have to say to the techno-saturated generations of today?

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Historical fiction and nonfiction http://www.hbook.com/2014/11/blogs/lollys-classroom/historical-fiction-nonfiction/ http://www.hbook.com/2014/11/blogs/lollys-classroom/historical-fiction-nonfiction/#respond Mon, 03 Nov 2014 20:26:05 +0000 http://www.hbook.com/?p=42789 Next Monday (November 10), Lauren’s class will be discussing several books. The theme for the day is “The past made present” so they will look at both historical fiction and nonfiction — including one book that’s a hybrid of the two. Everyone will be reading One Crazy Summer; they will choose to read either No […]

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histfic nf 2014 550x384 Historical fiction and nonfiction

Next Monday (November 10), Lauren’s class will be discussing several books. The theme for the day is “The past made present” so they will look at both historical fiction and nonfiction — including one book that’s a hybrid of the two.

Everyone will be reading One Crazy Summer; they will choose to read either No Crystal Stair or Bomb; and they are being asked to explore (but not necessarily read in full) either Claudette Colvin or Marching to Freedom.

We welcome all of you to join the discussion on these posts:

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One Crazy Summer http://www.hbook.com/2014/11/blogs/lollys-classroom/one-crazy-summer/ http://www.hbook.com/2014/11/blogs/lollys-classroom/one-crazy-summer/#comments Mon, 03 Nov 2014 20:03:23 +0000 http://www.hbook.com/?p=42748 One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia In the “crazy summer” of 1968, three black sisters set out from Brooklyn to Oakland, California, to reconnect with their estranged mother, an active member of the Black Panther political movement. How does Williams-Garcia balance historical events with the girls’ personal journeys? How do both these aspects of the […]

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williamsgarcia onecrazysummer 198x300 One Crazy SummerOne Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia
In the “crazy summer” of 1968, three black sisters set out from Brooklyn to Oakland, California, to reconnect with their estranged mother, an active member of the Black Panther political movement. How does Williams-Garcia balance historical events with the girls’ personal journeys? How do both these aspects of the historical novel interact?

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