English 341: It’s Like This

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Author: Makayla Harrigan

Makayla Harrigan: Reading Habits and Bone Gap

Makayla Harrigan: Reading Habits and Bone Gap

I found it interesting that many students noted that they enjoyed reading realistic fiction. I too am most drawn to this category, however, I expected more students to lean towards fantasy or sci-fi. Miller does mention that the reason that many people chose realistic fiction is because they can more easily make personal connections to this book. It is still important that everyone has their own favorites and preferences, and that as future teachers we remember to make available a variety of genres.

I think is it so important to remember that “Preferences are not fixed. Wild readers move between types of reading material depending on their needs and interests at any given time” (169). In order to meet our students needs in this way, we ourselves need to be knowledgable in many genres. I hope to work on this myself by creating a more specific outline of my reading goals. I really enjoy reading and have a hard time putting down my book once I get started, but getting to that part is more difficult.

Bone Gap by Laura Ruby is very different and unique from other books I have read. It is about a high schooler, Finn O’Sullivan, trying to figure out what really happened after he saw the kidnapping of a young girl named Roza. A search went out to try and find Roza and it seems as though she just vanished. Throughout the book, you get to meet and know more people of Bone Gap and discover how the town got its name. It is a very interesting and kind of weird, but I really enjoyed it and would recommend it to others looking to read something new.

Finn is the main character in Bone Gap. He is tall and handsome, but he’s more of an outsider in town. Many people have nicknamed him “Moonface” because his mind always seems to be somewhere else. We also learn that Finn is “Face-blind,” meaning that he has a very difficult time ever being able to recognize anyone’s face. Instead, he notices things like obvious physical characteristics and how the move. This quote does a good job of summarizing Finn and his place in his community, “He was tired of everyone believing they knew everything there was to know about him, as if a person never grew, a person never changed, a person was born a weird dreamy little kid with too-red lips and stayed that way forever just to keep things simple for everyone else.”

Makayla Harrigan: Blog 6

Makayla Harrigan: Blog 6

I took a look at Diamond Bookshelf. At first I was a little confused by the website and was not sure where to start. However, as I further explored it, I found many useful resources. There is information regarding new graphic novels and news dealing with graphic novels. I also found suggestions for why to use graphic novels. There are also many lesson plans that are fairly detailed and there are lesson plans for a range of ages.

I read Pashmina by Nidhi Chanani. Pashmina tells the story of a girl, Priyanka Das, who lives in the United States and whose mother immigrated from India. The Priyanka’s father is not in the picture, but she has an uncle with whom she is very close. Priyanka is very curious about her mother’s home country, but her mother seems very cautious and evasive when Priyanka tries to ask her about India. One day, Priyanka finds a pashmina hidden inside a suitcase which was carefully packed away. When she wraps the pashmina around herself, Priyanka is transported to a magical place where she is able to learn a little about India. At least, a magical and perfect version of India. But what will Priyanka discover when she gets the opportunity to visit her aunt in India?

When reading a graphic novel, I read it very similarly to how you would read a book. I read a graphic novel, going through it one panel at a time. I usually start with the picture and then read the words, if there are any. One this I do differently, it that I will often go back to the top of the page before continuing on, to look back at the pictures. I often feel that I can better understand the pictures that were at the beginning, after gaining more context of the story. I would like to discuss with other how they read graphic novels and why. Trying a new method could lead to opening up more doors to learning and understanding.

 

Makayla Harrigan: Caught in the Middle

Makayla Harrigan: Caught in the Middle

Enchanted Air is a memoir of a girl, Margarita, who is split between two places, Cuba and the United States. She struggles to find the balance between her two worlds, and it only worsens as revolution breaks out in Cuba. Margarita finds herself asking why the two worlds must even be so separate. This book is written through a series of poems. I enjoy reading it this way because I feel that the way it is written can cause the reader to slow down and put more emphasis on certain parts–almost creating an atmosphere of its own as you read. This book would be a great starter to discuss multiple subjects in a classroom. For example, it might lead the way into a poetry unit or to discuss hispanic culture.

 

 

so much depends

upon

 

eyes open wide

to see

 

a dancing tree

swaying in the wind

 

a bounding horse

flying across an open field

 

a girl with wings

to take her anywhere she dreams

 

 

 

Makayla Harrigan: Ada and Butter

Makayla Harrigan: Ada and Butter

In The War That Saved My Life, Ada is exploring and learning nearly everything for the first time. One of the first things that catches her eye, when arriving in the country, is a horse. And when she arrives at the home where she will be staying–there is a horse named Butter. Ada teaches herself to ride the horse and loves it because it gives her the opportunity to move more freely. She also learns how to knit and sew and uses these new skills to make some close friends Christmas gifts. So for this make, I made a stuffed felt horse. I also learned to knit, crochet, and sew when I was little. I used this knowledge plus some trial and error to make something I have never made before.

Makayla Harrigan: She Conquered

Makayla Harrigan: She Conquered

The War That Saved My Life by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley is about a young girl, Ada, that has a clubfoot. Ada lives in London with her younger brother and mother. Her mother treats her terribly, Ada is forced to stay in their tiny apartment, take care of her younger brother and take care of the cooking, and anything else her mom tells her to do. The story starts as WW2 is starting and all the children are being sent to the countryside. Once Ada makes it to the countryside, she begins to explore the world with a new found freedom with the help of a horse named Butter.

I think that this book would be a great way to introduce that topic of WW2. It provides some insight, such as what happened with children during war time. I believe that by introducing the topic through this book, it could help children who would otherwise not be interesting in history make connections in other ways. Ada is crippled, and other children who have disabilities may find ways to connect with her, making the book more relatable. It could also be used to discuss bullying or discrimination in a more relaxed way.

Makayla Harrigan: Dear Diary

Makayla Harrigan: Dear Diary

For this weeks make, I made a journal. Keena Ford is written as a journal, Keena’s mom buys her a journal for behaving and because her mom thought that Keena could use the journal to express her feelings instead of acting out. This book would be a great way to introduce journaling to students. To help get your students start journaling, I think it would be a lot of fun for them to put together their own. Provide them with a variety of materials to make it their own. If this is done with younger students, it is a great idea to provide them with space to draw to help them communicate their ideas.

Makayla Harrigan: Oops, She Did it Again :/

Makayla Harrigan: Oops, She Did it Again :/

My series book is Keena Ford. It is about a young girl in second grade who is always getting into trouble…accidentally. She never means to get in trouble, but she usually just gets a little ahead of herself. I feel like this book has a lot to offer. It highlights Keena’s relationships (and struggles) with her parents, brother, and teachers. This book could be a great way to discuss in a more casual manner some struggles children face. For example, Keena is afraid to tell her teacher or her mom that she made a mistake. As a result, things escalate and quickly out of hand. Once everything is cleared up, Keena’s teacher asks her why she did not just tell her that she had made a mistake. This is something that, I feel, many children (and adults) struggle with. There are other takeaways from this book that could serve as themes for various lesson plans. Keena Ford is a great book that is fun and that many people could enjoy and learn from.

My main takeaway from the Miller text is edge reading. So much of the time it feels like there is never any time to read. And people think that you have to sit back and read a book for at least a half-hour straight. Miller extinguishes this idea and promotes edge reading, which is pretty much reading whenever you can. Just carry a book with you and while you are waiting for someone or something, take out your book and read for a few minutes.

Miller also makes the point that if teachers are unwilling to allocate some time for free reading during class, how can it be expected that students will do this when they are at home. It is cliché to say, but you must lead by example, and if students are being shown this, it can come across as unimportant. As a future teacher, I hope to instill in my students a love and appreciation for reading. It should be something that can let your imagination run wild. It should be a source of exploration and adventure, and help students to connect to their peers. I want to make literature come alive and use it as a tool to explore other aspects of learning and creativity.