Posted by: jockmackenzie | June 21, 2009

Teacher Reading – the Literature textbook



My all-time favorite student literature text was one entitled “Explorations.” It was published in 1975 and was one of a series – Grade 7 was Experiences, Grade 8 was Explorations, Grade 9 was Reflections. Editors were James B. Bell and Earl W. Buxton; it was published by Wiley Publishers of Toronto.

Over the course of time, and I am suggesting this idea now because summer time offers many random moments, I read the book in its entirety and wrote all over it. As an example, with the short stories, I often began with a brief summary and may have jotted in theme possibilities or the story’s point of view. I noted time, place, mood, antecedent action, initial incident and so on. I circled difficult vocabulary, underlined and labeled figurative language, noted examples of foreshadowing.

As I flip through my old text this morning, I see that I also initialed the “G’s” and the “B’s” for Good and Bad when I was showing the events in the Rising Action – what was Good for the protaganonist, what was Bad.

The beauty of taking small steps, stolen moments, to read an entire text is that it makes the task less daunting. The result is the kind of gift that keeps on giving; much needed information is collected in one place.

Got a few spare minutes this summer? Need a break from reading “Water for Elephants” by Sara Gruen or “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” by Stieg Larsson and don’t see “Dealing with Dymans” by Jock Mackenzie on the stands yet? Try reading your classroom literature text.

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