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Lit for 8th grade Question: DS wants to do Count of Monte Cristo, too much? And which publisher do you like for classic reprints?


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#1 Um_2_4

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Posted 15 April 2017 - 11:08 PM

So DS and I discussed next year's lists and I asked his opinion on his Literature choices. I want 4 books to do a deeper study with (thinking to use Novel Units). 

We'll do Oliver Twist, Macbeth, and _________ (2 more). He wanted Count of Monte Cristo, too much??? 

 

Speaking of purchasing books, how do you find classics that are not micro sized font??? I ordered a couple recently (no previews on Amazon) and the print was too small. I think those were Penguin or Dover. Any favorite publishers/series? I want the unabridged versions. I would love it if I could find well bound, perhaps with illustrations??

 

Last question, if we cover those 3, any suggestions for #4??? I'm thinking The Time Machine or Animal Farm? 

 

This is all aside from reading for History, etc.



#2 swellmomma

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Posted 15 April 2017 - 11:26 PM

For 8th next yr my son has chosen the giver, animal farm, and to kill a mockingbird. Still deciding between hamlet and much ado. We are using novel study guides. Thos year we are doing just 1 as a way to learn how to use the guides, lord of the flies.

I have not had an issue with small print in the books I have bought thankfully. Ds does better when I read outloud to him (LDs), and tiny print would not work for me. Maybe looking into large print versions of the classics to avoid that issue.
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#3 HollyDay

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Posted 16 April 2017 - 05:29 PM

In 8th grade, my oldest chose:

Scarlet Pimpernel

Chosen

Watership Down

and a poetry study

 

In 8th, my youngest chose:

Time Machine

Alas Babylon

All Creatures Great and Small

and a poetry study


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#4 Lori D.

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Posted 16 April 2017 - 06:15 PM

Can't help with what editions -- I usually went to the local used bookstore and bought after looking to find versions that were workable for us. ;)

 

Esp. if you do Animal Farm, you should be able to squeeze in Oliver Twist (long), Macbeth (medium), and Count of Monte Cristo (very long). I imagine these will be the works studied, and then there will be other solo reading of some good young adult works as well?? 

 

I would think Macbeth and Oliver Twist would work in one semester, and then Count of Monte Cristo and a shorter work in another semester would give you enough time to read/analyze/discuss the works.

 

I did both Animal Farm and The Time Machine a few years ago in a Lit. & Comp. class for grades 7-12 -- The Time Machine did not go over as well as I had hoped, and it was a bit rough-going for all but the older high school ages. Just too much had to be explained as background material for them to begin to get a handle on any ideas for discussion. If you're going to do HG Wells, I'd suggest The Invisible Man -- a bit of an easier read, and more to discuss at that age. Animal Farm went over very well. If you go with Animal Farm, be sure to have meaty background information or a good study guide to help you get the most out of understanding the times that the work is built on. The free Animal Farm Glencoe Literature Library guide might be a useful supplement for you.

 

As far as guides... For Macbeth, I really recommend the Parallel Shakespeare teacher guide and student workbook (you can also get the teacher book for the workbook answers, and the parallel side-by-side text with original text on one page and the modern translation on the other page). Annoyingly, the sample pages that are in those links really don't do justice to this program -- lots of great background info, guided discussion questions. It's NOT all about vocabulary words and comprehension questions, the way the sample pages make it seem.  :sneaky2:  :tongue_smilie:

 

I also really like the challenger level guides of Discovering Literature series from Garlic Press, but they have only a very small handful of guides, and you're not doing any of their books. (a guide for each book in the Hunger games trilogy; The Graveyard Book; The Hobbit; The Giver; To Kill a Mockingbird; The Odyssey; Lord of the Flies). We used the guides for the last 4 of those books listed and they are nice and *meaty*! :)

 

Since other posters are listing what they used for 8th grade, I'll just add that we did Lighting Lit. 8, which covers 3 short units of poetry; 3 short stories; and 6 longer works (Treasure Island, A Day of Pleasure, The Hobbit, A Christmas Carol, My Family and Other Animals, To Kill a Mockingbird).

 

Enjoy your 8th grade Lit., whatever you decide to go with! Warmest regards, Lori D.


Edited by Lori D., 16 April 2017 - 06:25 PM.

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#5 dmmetler

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Posted 16 April 2017 - 06:19 PM

On print size, classics are also available on Kindle, and a bare-bones basic one will let you enlarge print. It works great unless you have a resource tied to specific page numbers of a single edition (LLLoTR, I'm looking at you. Three different sets of LoTR in the house, and none of them matched up!).
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#6 Lori D.

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Posted 16 April 2017 - 06:27 PM

... (LLLoTR, I'm looking at you. Three different sets of LoTR in the house, and none of them matched up!).

 

Honestly, if you're pretty familiar with the trilogy, you really don't need a version that matches up to LLftLotR... We managed fine with our old alternate editions, and it would only take a minute or so to find the page -- esp. because we would have just read the 2 chapters a day or two earlier before going over the guide for those chapters. :) Good luck!



#7 Farrar

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Posted 16 April 2017 - 08:07 PM

Seconding to read on Kindle if you can. Ds struggled with Call of the Wild because our edition had such tiny print. So then I switched him to Kindle and he was happier.

 

And adding a question... how are Novel Units? Better than the Glencoe guides or Penguin Guides? Worth the price? Is the teacher guide necessary?


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#8 madteaparty

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Posted 16 April 2017 - 09:47 PM

And adding a question... how are Novel Units? Better than the Glencoe guides or Penguin Guides? Worth the price? Is the teacher guide necessary?

I'm also wondering this, and bump!
I think Count of Monte Cristo is fine for 8th, DS did in 6th in English and an abridged version in French and it was too soon (for the full version). In retrospect, I wish we had either done this as a read aloud or a "high touch" study versus letting him go off to read on his own--some of the historical background (like the royalist/republican issue) he had no context for then but does now.

Edited by madteaparty, 16 April 2017 - 09:48 PM.

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#9 Lori D.

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Posted 16 April 2017 - 10:24 PM

.. how are Novel Units? Better than the Glencoe guides or Penguin Guides? Worth the price? Is the teacher guide necessary?

 

Don't know if you were directing this to me or OP, but... I have used 1 of the Novel unit guides, for The Iliad. It was okay. Nothing spectacular. We did glean a few good discussion questions out of it, and the good idea of making a chart of all the characters and gods in The Iliad to remember who was on which side. As I recall I only bought either the student or the teacher guide, not both, because I thought it was just too expensive for what you got. Sadly, Novel Units states (proudly): "100% unique content! No content overlaps in matching Teacher Guide and Student Packet." So $23 for about 75 pages, new. The "bundle" gives you 2 student packets + 1 TG for $25. Novel Units have been around for a long time, so you might be able to find some of these used for a much more reasonable price. 

 

I think the Portals to Literature and the Garlic Press Discovering Literature: challenger level guides (both secular) are the meatiest out there. Both have answers in the back rather than in a separate teacher guide. Portals run about $22 new per guide (now on a computer CD, not a print book) -- if they are largely unadapted from the original print guides, those guides were about 125-150 pages. They are written for classroom use, so you do have to do a fair amount of adapting, but there is quite a bit of background info, discussion questions, and activity ideas.

 

The Garlic Press guides are $11 (Rainbow Resource) and run 90-100 pages. They have author/work/times background info, and for every chapter, a section of comprehension questions and a section of discussion questions. There are a number of short informational/teaching sections on literary elements and literature topics, and some great writing assignment ideas, and then some additional activities and resources page, with question answers in the back of the book.

 

I also found the free Sparknotes and Cliff's Notes chapter by chapter summaries and analyses to be helpful, along with the free Penguin and Glencoe guides. Also, sometime I found some great material made by individuals just by doing a search for "study guide for ________", or "discussion questions for ________" (fill in the blank with whatever work you are covering).


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#10 Um_2_4

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Posted 16 April 2017 - 10:24 PM

Thanks all!

I'm planning for those 3 plus Animal Farm or the Invisible Man (thanks Lori D).

Seconding to read on Kindle if you can. Ds struggled with Call of the Wild because our edition had such tiny print. So then I switched him to Kindle and he was happier.

 

And adding a question... how are Novel Units? Better than the Glencoe guides or Penguin Guides? Worth the price? Is the teacher guide necessary?

 

I would try the kindle as last resort, but we still kinda like the physical book. Although I thought with Monte Cristo it might look less intimidating as he would not see the size of it  :lol: .

 

I haven't gotten any Novel Guides yet, but DS13 is the type of loves multiple choice, fill in the blank (I don't know where this kids comes from :laugh: ). Like he loves CTC's American History Detective. So of all of them, I thought these looked the best. I will order some in May (for planning since we start in late July/Aug) and will try to remember to update once I have them in hand.


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#11 Farrar

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Posted 16 April 2017 - 10:31 PM

Thanks for that answer, Lori and Um_2_4!

 

The Garlic Press and the Portals to Literature guides look good, but the titles are limited. I mostly am fine to do whatever, but I'm aware of BalletBoy needing to be pushed next year and I want to give him some more meat. In particular, he really needs to practice long answer questions across the board. He's definitely not a multiple choice lover. The Glencoe ones are good, but I wouldn't mind paying for something if it was worth it. I knew you could find Novel Units used... I may get one and see...


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#12 Roadrunner

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Posted 16 April 2017 - 10:51 PM

I always go for Penguin editions especially for translated work. They tend to have more modern translations.

#13 Lori D.

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Posted 17 April 2017 - 12:38 AM

I haven't gotten any Novel Guides yet, but DS13 is the type of loves multiple choice, fill in the blank (I don't know where this kids comes from :laugh: ). Like he loves CTC's American History Detective...

 

Then I still vote for the Parallel Shakespeare student workbook for Macbeth -- I really do think the workbook would be your DS's thing, but also it's a great guided thinking type of workbook. :)


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#14 Um_2_4

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Posted 17 April 2017 - 09:24 AM

Then I still vote for the Parallel Shakespeare student workbook for Macbeth -- I really do think the workbook would be your DS's thing, but also it's a great guided thinking type of workbook. :)

 

Thanks Lori, I'm going to add that to the list :) !! 

 

ETA: Just took a peek on Rainbow Resource, they seem PERFECT!!! THANKS!


Edited by Um_2_4, 17 April 2017 - 09:26 AM.

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#15 Momto5inIN

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Posted 19 April 2017 - 01:26 PM

Not to hijack, but my DD just announced she's like to read it too. Any reason to prefer one translation over another? Or is any unabridged version going to be similar to another?

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