Terrouge E-zine Archives
Enthusiastic Monthly Exhortation: Making Reading Fun
A school English textbook is generally filled with a multitude of stories-some good, some bad, some so-so. The range of novels read for English classes is usually just as widely distributed 'twixt stellar and abysmal. The trouble with novels is that novels are not an assignment that you love or are annoyed by for a day-you'll be reading that novel for months. Obviously, you want to do all you can to make sure you enjoy the experience. But how?
Redwall is an admirable book to read for school, and if confronted by student interest, many teachers would agree to teach it. It's probably too late to read it this year, because most teachers plan their schedules before the school year begins. However, it's the perfect time to start petitioning next year's teachers. So, without further ado:
How to Make Your Teachers Teach You Redwall!
Step One: Interest
The first thing a teacher will want to know is if there is interest. Convince two or three of your buddies that it'd be a cool thing to do. If you can convince more people that it's a good idea, even better! English teachers, contrary to popular belief, do not want students bored and yawning during class. Most of them would really enjoy having a class that was enjoying the novel, interacting, and asking intelligent questions(Still, every profession has it's lunatics, and I won't count English teachers out-hey, I'm planning to be one, and who said I was sane?).
Step Two: Preparation
Let's face it-any teacher, no matter how nice, would rather do less work than more work. If faced with a choice between coming up with her own lesson plan completely from scratch for this new book or using those pre-made worksheets for Romeo and Juliet or Lord of the Flies, your teacher is going to at least pause a little.
I can't find any pre-made worksheets for Redwall, but I did find Carol Hurst's Redwall lesson plan (located at http://www.carolhurst.com/titles/redwall.html). I recommend that you print this out and bring it in. True, you could just give your future teacher the link, but they might be too busy to check, or forget to look at it. Plus, it shows that you're serious about doing this-it's not just a whim of yours.
Step Three: Campaign
After you're all ready, find out who might be your English teacher next year (if you haven't done so already) and present them with your printouts. Some of you may have to give the printouts to several teachers, if you're not sure who you will have. Make sure you bring your friends we mentioned earlier with you. Coach them in innocently hopeful expressions. If you have anyone in your grade who can do really good puppy-dog eyes, bring them along. How could any teacher refuse such idealistic young scholars?
Convincing your teachers to teach Redwall to your class would be cool, true-you might finally get some of your classmates hooked on your favorite obsession! Teachers, however, are only likely to teach Redwall at certain grade levels. In my unschooled opinion, those of you entering grades 6 through 8 have the best chance of success. Don't let me convince the rest of you not to give it a shot though.
But if you don't think you've got a chance of success with Redwall, don't think that that dooms you to a year of boring reading. There are multitudes of sites out there with lesson plans for everything from Harry Potter to Orson Scott Card. I'll end this editorial with a few links to get the rest of you started. Approximate grade levels are in brackets.
- (Grades 3-5) Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone Rowling
- (Grades 4-8) The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, Lewis
- (Grades 7-10) The Hobbit
- (Grades 10-12) Brave New World, Huxley
And to finish off, a nifty little site with some links to science fiction lesson plans. Advanced works-probably more for our late high school fans.