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Children's and young adult books in the classroom.

Beyond the world we know | class #4, spring 2017

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 other worlds. Jane Langton’s classic piece on fantasy from the 1973 Horn Book, “The Weak Place in the Cloth” provides an apt and lovely […]

Writing for adults and adolescents

Last January, I was at the annual meeting of the School Reform Initiative, a wonderful organization that works to help schools find ways to communicate and collaborate more effectively.  I was thrilled to find out that the keynote speaker was Edwidge Danticat, a Haitian-American novelist I’ve loved for a long time. She delivered an important […]

The past made present | class #3, spring 2017

Next Tuesday (February 7), the YA literature class will be discussing several books on the theme “The past made present,” considering both nonfiction and historical fiction. A number of these works address the topic of Civil Rights. One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia No Crystal Stair: A Documentary Novel of the Life and Work of Lewis […]

Introducing ancient Egypt

How can you introduce children to history in an exciting and engaging way? As an Egyptian parent, more specifically, how do you encourage your children to celebrate their heritage if their curriculum doesn’t and the general media is unreliable? Personally, my thirst for exploring the mysteries of my heritage was never fully quenched in my […]

Windows and mirrors | class #2 spring 2017

Please join the adolescent lit class at HGSE as we discuss two recent YA books for our second class on January 31. The students are required to comment on one of the readings, but we hope any of you who have read one of these will want to join our discussion. The Absolutely True Diary of a […]

Adolescent lit class begins tomorrow

Lolly’s children’s literature class at the Harvard Graduate School of Education wrapped up in December with lively discussion and debate in their Mock Awards committees, a terrific culminating event. Tomorrow, adolescent lit begins, and we’ll continue to hold our class book discussions out in the open here and invite you all to join the conversation. […]

Mock book awards | Class #6, fall 2016

During our last class on November 30, students will meet in mock award groups. At the first class, we formed five award committees based on students’ personal preferences. We’ve got a Geisel committee, a Sibert committee, and three Caldecott committees. Each student nominated one or two 2016 books which they will present to their group […]

Charlotte’s Web | Class #6, fall 2016

Our class won’t meet next Wednesday because of Thanksgiving, so this post is going up early. During our last class meeting (November 30), we will be holding five mock book award sessions. There are three Caldecott groups and one each for Geisel and Sibert. Check out the books they have nominated here [link to come] […]

Teaching poetry

In a short 6-week module like the one I teach at Harvard Ed School, time is the enemy. My quixotic goal for this too-short class is to expose students to all aspects of children’s literature, in breadth and in depth. Of course, every year and there is something I wish we had discussed in more […]

Folklore and poetry | Class #5, fall 2016

For our class on November 16, we are reading four books and one article. I like combining these two genres because both need to be read aloud in order to really appreciate them. Folklore has to have a strong voice, as it comes from an oral tradition where storytellers have individual styles, just as today’s […]