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Thread: Literature

  1. #1

    Default Literature

    I am trying to plan for 7th grade and I have no idea what I am going to do for literature. Usually we do Journeys which works well for us, but it only goes up to 6th grade. I liked it because although some of the selections were boring, there was a nice mix, and stretching him to do some boring things, is a good thing.

    I know most people on here are probably pro classic literature and do fine with it, but my son is autistic and finds it boring and is not going to read it. It also tends to be emotionally dark which makes him uncomfortable. The closest we got is The Hobbit, and once it became less silly and more dark, he was done with it.

    There doesn't seem to be a whole lot in between classic literature and stories that seem too casual for actual school work. Modern literature has its own challenges (the social component) but most of what I think is silly enough does not seem to be enough quality to bother analyzing from a literary perspective. It is good for social learning, but that is about it.

    The most successful thing we are doing that is kind of in between, is Harry Potter. (He is still laughing about platform 9 3/4) We will be doing Book #2 of it next year, but I need to include other things, and I want to organize it like an anthology where he can easily compare related texts and so forth. I should be able to find poetry and non-fiction he can read, but it is the literature part that will be difficult.

    Anybody know of a 7th grade anthology that would work (ideally) or age appropriate books that might have silliness plus some heft to them? I am guessing sci fi and fantasy (with humor) might be the easiest, but a mix would be nice.

    Edited to add: I have a feeling I am going to going to end up with a lot of short stories because I don't think I am going to be able to find too many novels. I think I am going to reread Isaac Asimov and O'Henry.
    Last edited by HobbitinaHobbitHole; 02-20-2017 at 02:26 PM.

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  3. #2

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    My daughter is currently in seventh grade and she has mild autism. Anyway, she only likes fantasy books to read for pleasure. I don't have any suggestions, but wanted to tell you that I'm in the same boat. I like your user name!
    Mom to 3, only homeschooling DD13.

    "The best teachers are those who show you where to look, but don't tell you what to see." Alexandra K. Trenfor

  4. #3

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    Mosdos toes through 8th grade, and has variety of lit stuff. We have used it since 3rd grade, supplementing with Bravewriter and Young Mensa novels. (With breaks for Harry Potter, Percy Jackson, and assorted high interest twaddle.)
    Mosdos is a typical anthology with workbook and literary instruction. Hravewriters approach is workbook free, and literary ideas are discussed over the course of the novel. Personally, I found the short story approach of Mosdos more effective for explaining and discussing a topic.
    Bravewriter also has a wide variety of book selections that the proprietress has made "units" on.

    Im with your son on the barfiness of archaic literature. Just skip that stuff til he is older, so he wont have a passionate hatred of it. I hated Tennessee Williams from being subjugated to it in 10th grade until I was in my mid-late 20s, at which point I was astonished out of my mind about how brilliant and capturing of the family dynamic was.

    There are also homeschooling Harry Potter unit studies, if those appeal to you.

    And of course, there is always Pratchett and Discworld. His Science of Discworld series (cowritten with scientists) puts a fun spin on universe science and evolution, but one needs to be familiar with the discworld novels first.
    Homeschooling DS13, DS6.

    Atheist.

    My spelling was fine, then my brain left me.

  5. #4

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    I also second Terry Prachett. My kids loved him. He also has some stand-alone , non-Discworld books to get you started. We started with "Wee Free Men."

    Also, may I also suggest classics, but in the form of graphic novels? Some people use them as an intro to "good literature", then the kids read the actual text in high school. I'm not sure about where you live, but our little library has an enormous number of graphic novels in the YA section.
    Carol

    Homeschooled two kids for 11 years, now trying to pay it forward


    Daughter -- a University of Iowa graduate: BA in English with Creative Writing, BA in Journalism, and a minor in Gender, Women & Sexuality Studies

    Son -- a Purdue University senior majoring in Computer Science, minoring in math, geology, anthropology, and history

  6. #5

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    I think you can develop an effective literature program that is not classical. There are lots of great books and graphic novels that could have potential. I do not think at the middle school or even high school that students should have to read classical literature in the original form. There are lots of ways of learning about it for cultural understanding.

    For middle school here are some possibilities:

    Percy Jackson and the Olympians or Heroes of Olympus would be good. He can read the books and also the Greek mythology and compare them. Other books by Rick Riordan too.

    The Graveyard Book (and other books) by Neil Gaiman
    Wrinkle in Time series
    The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
    The Golden Compass
    Bridge to Terabithia
    Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket (book series)
    Roald Dahl books , like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and others.


    There there are lots of graphic novels that may be of interest.
    Smile and Drama are good ones for middle school. Both by Raina Telgemeier.
    Rapunzel's Revenge by Shannon Hale


    I really think kids who end up not liking to read, it is because they have not found things that they are interested in reading. I am of the opinion that language arts should be for more than learning the classics. Literature can improve peoples emotional lives. So people should find what they like. I support films and graphic novels. I think that these are suitable ways of learning about Shakespeare, the Greek myths and about history.
    A mama who teaches college writing, as well as help her 11-year-old in
    choosing his own life adventure. Using Global Village School to support our desire to develop a sense of social justice and global awareness.

  7. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Carmaline View Post
    My daughter is currently in seventh grade and she has mild autism. Anyway, she only likes fantasy books to read for pleasure. I don't have any suggestions, but wanted to tell you that I'm in the same boat. I like your user name!
    Thanks!

  8. #7

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    I'm teaching a 7th grade literature course at a local tutorial this coming fall and although most of the class concentrates on American Lit, our first book, Freak the Mighty, might be a good read to add to your list.

  9. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by alexsmom View Post
    Mosdos toes through 8th grade, and has variety of lit stuff. We have used it since 3rd grade, supplementing with Bravewriter and Young Mensa novels. (With breaks for Harry Potter, Percy Jackson, and assorted high interest twaddle.)
    Mosdos is a typical anthology with workbook and literary instruction. Hravewriters approach is workbook free, and literary ideas are discussed over the course of the novel. Personally, I found the short story approach of Mosdos more effective for explaining and discussing a topic.
    Bravewriter also has a wide variety of book selections that the proprietress has made "units" on.

    Im with your son on the barfiness of archaic literature. Just skip that stuff til he is older, so he wont have a passionate hatred of it. I hated Tennessee Williams from being subjugated to it in 10th grade until I was in my mid-late 20s, at which point I was astonished out of my mind about how brilliant and capturing of the family dynamic was.

    There are also homeschooling Harry Potter unit studies, if those appeal to you.

    And of course, there is always Pratchett and Discworld. His Science of Discworld series (cowritten with scientists) puts a fun spin on universe science and evolution, but one needs to be familiar with the discworld novels first.
    I am happy with how we are handling Harry Potter. We are going to do a book a year, a chapter at a time on Fun Friday and talk about it as we go. Then we switch to working on writing on Fun Fridays (using Bravewriter as a rough guide, for some of itactually) for the rest of the year. We talk about the book as we go, and I don't assign lesson plan kind of work for it. We just talk about the plot/character/themes as we proceed. I am intentionally going slow with it, so he can mature emotionally before the books start to get darker. I don't do workbook or unit kind of material because I don't want to ruin all guided reading with that kind of thing.

    Edited because I did find the TOC for the Mosdos Jade version on a vendor site. It looks like a great book, but I am going to have to test some of the selections on him to see if it will work. Thanks!

    Discworld sounds promising. I will need to check that out, too. Thank you.

    I also hated Tennessee Williams when we covered it in school.
    Last edited by HobbitinaHobbitHole; 02-21-2017 at 03:08 PM.

  10. #9

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    Our library is actually not very good. They recently added graphic novels, but I don't think they have any graphic novel renditions of high quality reading at the moment, but I may suggest to them they that consider adding some.

  11. #10

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    Thank you for the list. I am going to check those out, for sure.

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Literature