I don’t know about you, but fall has always meant Halloween season to me--not back-to-school. While other teachers are out shopping for school supplies, I’m literally hiding skeletons in my closet before my boyfriend can reprimand me for bringing more decorations in the house. So October for me means pumpkin spice everything, draping cobwebs all over the house, and reading as much horror fiction as I can. For this October, I’m presenting to you Katie Alendar’s The Dead Girls of Hysteria Hall. It’s the perfect horror novel for high schoolers!
I started my journey to add young adult literature to my classroom when I finally ran out of patience for our outdated African American unit. The updates went so well, I’ve begun branching out into my other classes and units. I have found that young adult literature is especially great for engaging my at-risk students.
Better yet though, it’s engaging for me. When I’m teaching more contemporary novels, I’m more thoughtful and engaged in my teaching.
I think a lot of high school teachers figure that independent reading isn’t necessary for older students, is too “baby-ish”, or is a waste of time among a jam-packed curriculum. This blog post isn’t to explain my rationale for independent reading with high school students. Rather, I want to share what it looks like in my classroom.