Due date: Finish your book by Thursday, May 23. We will begin to work with them on that day.
By now, you’ve had a pair of lessons devoted to discussing and choosing a book to read during the fourth quarter. You’ve heard from your peers, gotten feedback from me, and begun the proposal process. This post is a chance to earn more points toward our current adversarial by posting your proposals and responding to your classmates.
First, a quick rundown:
- You will commit to reading a book of your choice this quarter.
- Your choice must be approved by me.
- You’ll submit a proposal by 4/24.
- The due date will be set once all proposals are approved.
- You will write a reader-response essay after finishing your book.
Second, a few lengthier guidelines:
- There will be no quizzes, tests, or analytical essays on this book, because we are continuing our focus on your reading lives and how you can learn to love reading again.
- That second link—to John Holt’s article, “How Teachers Make Children Hate Reading”—should remind you that reading requires your investment; as he says, there are times when skipping sections or abandoning a book altogether is the reasonable decision.
- You’ll be reflecting and monitoring your progress, so you’ll have a chance to discuss the novel with me and your peers even before you finish.
- Remember that “book” does not just refer to full-length literary fiction (e.g., Of Mice and Men, The Invisible Man). I will post a list of some of the diverse titles chosen by you and your peers this week.
Third, the proposal format:
- Give the name of the book and the author.
- Write a brief description of the book. Keep the plot summary brief. You’ll probably want to include the kind of narrator for narrative books (if it’s a first-person or diary account), and you’ll want to indicate the subject matter if it’s an expository or argumentative text (e.g., Bill Simmons’ Big Book of Basketball works here).
- If you can, include a hyperlink to more information about the book. Wikipedia, Goodreads, and Amazon all work well. Here’s a guide to inserting hyperlinks into comments.
- Write a complete explanation of exactly why you are choosing this book. Don’t just summarize the plot; include how you chose this book, why you want to read it, and perhaps a bit about why other students may want to read it. Be specific.
After you’ve submitted your proposal in class, use the comments section here to type up your work and discuss this with each other.