Thursday, October 6, 2011

Hunger Games again.....

You know I've been thinking more since I wrote about Readicide and what we as teachers do to kill the love of reading in kids.  I always worry when teachers want to take YA novels and turn them into in class reading.  Take for example, the Hunger Games trilogy.  I've already talked about how popular the series is with students so in some teachers' minds, these books would be perfect to use as class novels to teach literary elements.


Sorry for yelling.  But I get tired of great books being "read to death" in class, picked apart by teachers and turned into worksheet answers.  Nothing kills the love of a great book any faster.

And I can say this because I've DONE it!!!  Okay, embarrassing confession time is over, but I have.  I've really great books and made kids hate them.  And the sad fact is at the time, I didn't know what I was doing wrong.

Well, now as a librarian, I can tell you what I was doing wrong.  Instead of letting kids read and enjoy a great story, I was picking it to pieces.  Details, literary elements, themes....I turned a fun story into an assignment.  Of course, we need to be sure kids understand the things they are reading.  Of course we need to instruct our students in literary elements, themes in literature --all the reasons we all became literature teachers. 

But we don't have to do it to every great story that comes along, especially at the moment the story is popular.  In a few years, when the excitement over the Hunger Games has died down and another series is popular--maybe?  maybe not?  I still hate to see YA literature turned into an assignment.  Some books are just meant to be read and enjoyed.  Am I wrong?

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