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How much lit for 7th grade?


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#1 Spudater

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Posted 28 September 2017 - 08:13 AM

Thinking ahead...

How much lit is a reasonable amount to expect to get through in 7th grade? If we spent a month on Romeo and Juliet and a month on a poetry unit, would it be reasonable to try to get through Ivanhoe and Oliver Twist? (Those are two of dd's picks, she would also be interested in Gulliver's Travels or Robinson Crusoe if there's time.) She is a strong reader and a fast one, but I want to not only have time to discuss these orally but to write on them as well.

Edited by Spudater, 28 September 2017 - 08:13 AM.


#2 2_girls_mommy

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Posted 28 September 2017 - 08:20 AM

My fast reader read through the lists from CHOLL in middle school. Those have about 15-16 books a year. She generally read 3/4 of them, plus we had read alouds and such going, plus non fiction for history and science. We generally did a study of about one of those every 2 months that required a lot of discussion, projects, or writing. For us, those are generally the ones we read aloud together. The others, she might just write a paragraph about as she finished, and not always that.  Sometimes she would just tell me about them. I used them for copywork and such as we went too. 

 

My current 8th grader, with dyslexic symptoms, reads at a lower level and a slower pace. We got through about 7 of the CHOLL selections last year.  A few of those were read alouds, but she read 4-5 on her own. We did projects for 1-2, and discussions and a short written summary of most. I just assign the book summary during our regular English/writing time after they finish a book, setting aside their eng. curric for a day.

 

 

 

 



#3 Spudater

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Posted 28 September 2017 - 09:15 AM

My fast reader read through the lists from CHOLL in middle school. Those have about 15-16 books a year. She generally read 3/4 of them, plus we had read alouds and such going, plus non fiction for history and science. We generally did a study of about one of those every 2 months that required a lot of discussion, projects, or writing. For us, those are generally the ones we read aloud together. The others, she might just write a paragraph about as she finished, and not always that. Sometimes she would just tell me about them. I used them for copywork and such as we went too.

My current 8th grader, with dyslexic symptoms, reads at a lower level and a slower pace. We got through about 7 of the CHOLL selections last year. A few of those were read alouds, but she read 4-5 on her own. We did projects for 1-2, and discussions and a short written summary of most. I just assign the book summary during our regular English/writing time after they finish a book, setting aside their eng. curric for a day.


I'm sorry, what is CHOLL? A lot of the usually recommended books for middle school lit are reads she could finish in a day, like Anne of Green Gables. Plus we have the problem that pretty much anything on those lists she has any interest in she has already read two or three (or in the cae of Anne, probably five, lol) times. But the language and plot of something like Ivanhoe or Oliver Twist would be a lot more of a challenge and would need to be taken slower.

So I guess maybe I ought to rephrase my question to, if you have a middle schooler who is ready for high school level lit but not necessarily a high school level workload, how do you figure out how much to assign? Anyone btdt?

#4 Lori D.

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Posted 28 September 2017 - 04:12 PM

For works where you are digging deeper? Yes, for 7th grade and working with high school classics -- 4 works (1 per quarter) is plenty.

 

I would, however, also be requiring some books done as solo/independent reading -- no papers, activities, study guides, or discussion, just reading. Since the student is doing some heavy high school level works for the formal lit, I'd suggest maybe going with some good quality Young Adult works for the solo reading -- say, 10-20 for the year (depending on how fast a reader and much reading is enjoyed by the student). Perhaps have a book basket with 3 dozen titles in it, and the student gets to choose a new book for solo reading every 3-4 weeks. Ideas:

 

Tuck Everlasting (Babbitt)

Below the Root (Snyder)

The Little White Horse (Goudge)

Where the Red Fern Grows (Rawls)

Summer of the Monkeys (Rawls)

Sounder (Armstrong)

The Cay (Taylor)

The Westing Game (Raskin)

The Witch of Blackbird Pond (Speare)

Eagle of the Ninth (Sutcliff)

The Bronze Bow (Speare)

Island of the Blue Dolphins (O'Dell)

Sing Down the Moon (O'Dell)

The King's Fifth (O'Dell)

The Vanishing Point (Hawes)

The Perilous Gard (Pope)

Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry (Taylor)

Across Five Aprils (Hunt)

The Midwife's Apprentice (Cushman)

The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle (Avi)

The Mostly True Adventures of of Homer P. Figg (Rodman)

I Am David (Holm)

Julie of the Wolves (George)

Walk Two Moons (Creech)

The War That Saved My Life (Bradley)

Maniac Magee (Spinnelli)

Bridge to Terebithia (Paterson)

The Wednesday Wars (Schmidt)

The View From Saturday (Konigsberg)

Holes (Sachar)

A Wrinkle in Time (L'Engle)

When You Reach Me (Stead)

Enchantress From the Stars (Engdahl)

The Giver (Lowry)

The Hobbit (Tolkien)

Call of the Wild  (London)

The Outsiders (Hinton)

Anne of Green Gables (Montgomery)

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (Twain)


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#5 Lori D.

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Posted 28 September 2017 - 04:31 PM

Just saw this second post of yours, so my first response may not be what you're looking for. Trying again... ;)

 

... A lot of the usually recommended books for middle school lit are reads she could finish in a day, like Anne of Green Gables. Plus we have the problem that pretty much anything on those lists she has any interest in she has already read two or three (or in the cae of Anne, probably five, lol) times...

 

Since she's a voracious reader, clearly she doesn't need solo reading -- sounds like she gets plenty of that reading in her free time with books she likes. Instead, perhaps the goal of additional reading for DD would be exposure to books outside of her typical go-to books, and pick 9 books (1 per month of the school year) of genres/types that she would NOT normally express interest in, and read together/discuss a little bit.

 

 

So I guess maybe I ought to rephrase my question to, if you have a middle schooler who is ready for high school level lit but not necessarily a high school level workload, how do you figure out how much to assign? Anyone btdt?

 

 It's not really a race, so the amount of books you cover is going to depend on the student, and on how much time you WANT to take -- how deeply you are digging into the works, how much discussion, how many literary analysis essays or reader response papers, how in-depth of a guide you might be using...

 

For high school, I've seen students read just 4 works, up to 24 works, for a school year. Again, it really, really depends on a combination of factors:

- the student's interest/ability/needs

- how difficult or long the individual pieces of literature are

- how much time do you plan to spend digging into the work

 

 

It sounds like you have a good set-up right now -- 4 advanced works that you are taking time to dig into. Again, the only thing I'd suggest is to add a handful of "meaty" discussionable YA works to scatter throughout the year for stretching the student's interests, but especially to practice some discussion and analysis in prep for high school Literature. (i.e., prep for the eventually harder workload)

 

BEST of luck, and hope you both enjoy your journeys through literature this year! Warmest regards, Lori D.


Edited by Lori D., 28 September 2017 - 04:32 PM.

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#6 Spudater

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Posted 28 September 2017 - 07:20 PM

Just saw this second post of yours, so my first response may not be what you're looking for. Trying again... ;)


Since she's a voracious reader, clearly she doesn't need solo reading -- sounds like she gets plenty of that reading in her free time with books she likes. Instead, perhaps the goal of additional reading for DD would be exposure to books outside of her typical go-to books, and pick 9 books (1 per month of the school year) of genres/types that she would NOT normally express interest in, and read together/discuss a little bit.



It's not really a race, so the amount of books you cover is going to depend on the student, and on how much time you WANT to take -- how deeply you are digging into the works, how much discussion, how many literary analysis essays or reader response papers, how in-depth of a guide you might be using...

For high school, I've seen students read just 4 works, up to 24 works, for a school year. Again, it really, really depends on a combination of factors:
- the student's interest/ability/needs
- how difficult or long the individual pieces of literature are
- how much time do you plan to spend digging into the work


It sounds like you have a good set-up right now -- 4 advanced works that you are taking time to dig into. Again, the only thing I'd suggest is to add a handful of "meaty" discussionable YA works to scatter throughout the year for stretching the student's interests, but especially to practice some discussion and analysis in prep for high school Literature. (i.e., prep for the eventually harder workload)

BEST of luck, and hope you both enjoy your journeys through literature this year! Warmest regards, Lori D.


Thanks, Lori! Your posts are always so helpful. So maybe I'll try to give the four titles a more LLftLotR type approach lasting a quarter and then give three or four YA titles a quick one week Deconstructing Penguins type discussion and have some fun with Shakespeare for a couple weeks breather in the middle.

#7 Lori D.

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Posted 28 September 2017 - 08:13 PM

Thanks, Lori! Your posts are always so helpful. So maybe I'll try to give the four titles a more LLftLotR type approach lasting a quarter and then give three or four YA titles a quick one week Deconstructing Penguins type discussion and have some fun with Shakespeare for a couple weeks breather in the middle.

 

That sounds like a lot of fun, and should be a great year of good lit!


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#8 2_girls_mommy

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Posted 29 September 2017 - 09:08 PM

I'm sorry, what is CHOLL? A lot of the usually recommended books for middle school lit are reads she could finish in a day, like Anne of Green Gables. Plus we have the problem that pretty much anything on those lists she has any interest in she has already read two or three (or in the cae of Anne, probably five, lol) times. But the language and plot of something like Ivanhoe or Oliver Twist would be a lot more of a challenge and would need to be taken slower.

So I guess maybe I ought to rephrase my question to, if you have a middle schooler who is ready for high school level lit but not necessarily a high school level workload, how do you figure out how much to assign? Anyone btdt?

Sorry, I use the Classical House of Learning Lit blog. I use the logic stage lists for middle school, so not high school levels yet. My good reader could read through the entire list in a year, the other not so many. CHOLL lines up lit and a lot of historical fiction that fits in the history cycles ( so in an ancients year there is a good version of The Odyssey for Children, but not the actual Illiad or Odyssey yet, if that makes sense.) There are lesson plans for each of the books, so there is a good amount of work to do with the books on the blog, but not too much. They are definitely not overwhelming. 


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#9 2_girls_mommy

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Posted 29 September 2017 - 09:09 PM

We have also scattered some Memoria Press lit guides for Shakespeare in among our CHOLL reads over the years. 


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