English 341: It’s Like This

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Author: Lucy Malagon

Blog 7 :)

Blog 7 :)

Reading in the Wild is a book educator should look into. I always knew that reading was important but this class and this book definitely changed my mind. Reading is always going to be important in a child’s life, not just their school years, but it will also be important in their adulthood. Reading makes you become more educated of the world we live in. I love how the author emphasizes how much she values reading. She encourages her students to read whenever they can and provides them with an environment where they can flourish. It has become so important to her students that they even make reading goals and they feel accomplished when they complete it. When it comes to choosing books, I think it’s important that teachers should choose books that benefit their students. This can be expanded differently, not only do these books help these children academically but they also can help them emotionally. I think that it’s amazing the doors a good book can open, and how us teachers can make that difference.

The young adult book I am reading is Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell. I chose this book because I have read it before, but years ago. It’s a book that made me feel so many emotions especially the ending. I wanted to relive those emotions because the book is a bit of a blur. The book has two main characters which are Eleanor and Park. They each give you a glimpse of their world and how they feel when they interact with each other. Park is a boy who likes to keep to himself and stays out of everyone’s way. He lives a pretty comfortable life but wishes his father could accept him for how he is. His father wishes Park were more masculine.  Eleanor is that “weird” girl who everyone bullies because she’s different. She wears ties, big red hair, and doesn’t let things get to her. She has a difficult time at home, she lives with her mother, four little siblings, and her abusive stepfather. Her mother tries to make it seem like everything at home is alright but in reality, her stepfather, Richie became more abusive than ever. Park and Eleanor at first have a hard time interacting with each other because they are so different from each other. Over time from sitting next to each other on the bus, they become infatuated with each other and thus a high school love story begins.

I think is a must-read novel, maybe more in the high school age. It makes you see many perspectives and makes you feel many emotions. We get to see the lives of both these characters and how their environment and people that surround them affect them. I also believe that by the end of this book you become a bit more understanding and loving towards the people that surround your life. Truly an amazing book, with a life-changing cliffhanger. I hope one day I get closure and everyone else who has read this.

Graphic Novels, The New Wave?

Graphic Novels, The New Wave?

My mind has been changed forever! I always thought graphic novels were a waste of time when it came to reading. I never found an interest in them. I grew up reading a lot of thick chapter books and was never attracted to read a graphic novel. Reading this article and also reading The Best We Could Do has opened my eyes to a new world. When I read The Best We Could Do, I was instantly hooked. I read the entire thing while my coworker was driving us to work. I related so much to the story, and it was also an easy read. In the article it states how graphic novels are used for children to ease in into reading, the pictures and the word text call their attention a bit more into reading them. It is also easier for special needs kids to enjoy books, they can see the emotion in the pictures, and I believe that is a beautiful thing. Books should be accessible to everyone!

Another detail I found super impressive is that graphic novels fit curriculum! (Common Core Standards) They can help children understand many topics, not just English topics. Graphic novels turn on creative writing in people, especially children. As for the resources, the one I looked into was http://www.noflyingnotights.com/  It provides reviews on graphic novels, and it also helps you choose what to read next based on your interests. I think it’s a really cool website and kid-friendly. It’s definitely a tool I can use for my future students.

When I read a graphic novel I like to read the words first and then look at the pictures, I think I like it this was because I want a context of the story before I look at the pictures, to me it makes more sense. I asked my brother to read a few pages from  The Best We Could Do and he said he looks at the picture first because he says it draws his attention first. He gets an idea of what’s going on and when he reads the text he gets the story better. Which is interesting, because I am the total opposite.  I guess there is no wrong way of reading a graphic novel.

Brown Girl Dreaming

Brown Girl Dreaming

The book I chose was Brown Girl Dreaming. I think this is such a great book with a lot of emotional value placed into it. It’s about Jacqueline who’s growing up in segregated America. Her poetry describes the hardship you had to go through as a person of color in the 60’s. She provides with the reality of her family but also shows you the sweet moments she had.  One of the moments that really put an impression on me was when her father and mother would fight and finally, her mother left her dad. I feel that during that time things were harder especially for a single mother. I respect her mother’s bravery. I really enjoy the way this book was written. Poetry style but still having the chance to understand what’s going on. Each poem is focused on one certain thing but it continues the story from the poem that came before. I would use this book in the classroom by asking my students to start a journal but write each entry with a poem that tells a story. Over time the collection of poems will eventually form a story.

 

So much depends

Upon

 

Two circular

Lenses

 

Staring not just

At you

 

But

Me

The War That Saved My Life Make

The War That Saved My Life Make

After reading The War that Saved My Life. I felt inspired and realized that if I was a teacher reading this book to my class, I would want to create awareness. Not only to the children in my classroom but to the whole community. I found this wonderful organization called Miracle Feet. Miracle Feet is an organization that is bringing clubfoot treatment to low and middle-income countries where proper treatment for clubfoot is scarce. They also offer help in the United States where they allow people to purchase a clubfoot brace. They have a section in their website where you can help them fundraise for the organization. I thought that a cool idea is to get the children in my classroom involved. We can do a fundraiser for children with clubfoot. We could do an array of things, like a bake sale, a car wash, or we can even do a talent show and charge people to see them perform. When we raise the money I was thinking of not only sending the check over but also letters from all my students. They can write a letter to Miracle feet, and also maybe they can write a letter to the children that are being helped. I think it is very important to stay informed and updated with things that are happening around us and helping those that need it the most. I hope I can actually implement this in the future.

 

https://www.miraclefeet.org/about-miraclefeet/contact-us/     

 

 

The War That Saved My Life thoughts(:

The War That Saved My Life thoughts(:

In the book The War that Saved our Life, we meet our main character, Ada. Ada is a little girl that lives in an abusive home with her little brother Jamie. Ada’s mom treats her very poorly because she crippled and treats her brother Jaime better. She lets Jaime go out to play and go to school. Ada raises Jaime because her mother is never home, she works all night and sleeps all day. Her town soon starts evacuating children to the countryside because Hitler is threatening to bomb them. Ada takes this as her chance to escape the cruel life she is living at home. She had been practicing to walk for a few months and takes her chances with Jaime, leaving their mother behind. When they get to the countryside they are the last children to get picked. In reality, they never get picked but get sent to Miss Smith’s home. Miss Smith is a single woman who is living in a house she inherited by her best friend. She is still filled with sadness over her friend’s passing but does her best to care for the children. At first when she didn’t want to take care of them, but over time she became more loving towards them. She does her best to take care of Ada’s foot and gives them the basic needs, which the children consider luxuries. They have never had so many meals and baths. Ada is enjoying her new found freedom and never wants to go home. Jaime, on the other hand, misses home and wants to go back. Half of the children who escaped to the countryside are returning home even though the bomb danger still prevails. (This is as far as I have gotten)

 

I believe this book wants us to have sympathy for the main character, which she is getting. I feel that it’s a book that can be an outing for a student who is going through a similar situation.  Let me explain that sentence, I feel like there is going to be a few amounts of students that are living in an abusive home and maybe this can push them to speak up about their situation so they can get the help they need. Situations like this can be very difficult for a child, and it’s hard for them to speak against a family member, but if we offer them the help they need they’re going to be better off. This book can also be a great introduction to WWII. The children in your classroom can have an idea of what children of that time were going through and how hard it was for families to separate. They can also see how ignorant people of that time where and can discuss what they would do if they were in that position. Turn it all into an activity  

A Series Of Unfortunate Events Bingo!

A Series Of Unfortunate Events Bingo!

Download (PDF, 58KB)

I thought it would be fun to do a bingo card for the children. This bingo card is meant to be given out after the book is finished, it’s a way to see if the children paid attention to the book and details. I did it based on the characters and important details of the book. For example, I put “roast beef” an option. For them to choose the word I would say something along the lines of ” What did Count Olaf really want for dinner?” I think it’s a fun way to remember events and characters. This can also be viewed as a fun little review later on to refresh the children’s memory.

I sat down at a desk for a while and thought about the things I enjoyed when I was in middle school, and it hit me. Children rave when they play bingo, it’s such a simple thing but yet so fun. They don’t mind learning that way. Another way I would’ve approached this is with a good game of jeopardy, but I think I would recommend that for older kids and make the questions a bit harder.  Overall I think this would be a great activity for my future teaching career :)

Thoughts on A Series of Unfortunate Events and Miller’s Text (:

Thoughts on A Series of Unfortunate Events and Miller’s Text (:

I am currently reading A Series of Unfortunate Events. The book is depressing, these two kids were out playing on the bach and all of a sudden they get the news that their parents are dead. They get handed off to this uncle that came out of nowhere and he treats them badly. He doesn’t appreciate a single thing that they do for him. Count Olaf (the uncle) is a nasty old man who lives in a disgusting home. Not only does he treat them badly, but he is out for the children’s money. Violet is the oldest child, she is interested in engineering. She likes to invent and build new inventions. Klaus is the middle child, he likes to gain knowledge through books. Lastly, we have Sunny, the baby. She likes to mumble words and bite things. Everything about this book is sad, but the plot isn’t as bad, it’s actually quite interesting. So many unfortunate events happen one after another. The kids are definitely trying to make the best out of every situation they are put in. A part of the book that really upset me was when Count Olaf demanded the children to cook him dinner for him and his friends. The children asked the neighbor for a cookbook and went grocery shopping, they ended up making a puttanesca sauce. They were really proud of their creation but when count Olaf got home he was very upset that they didn’t make roast beef, even his rude guest were upset. That just shows you how vile the man is and what kind of people he surrounds himself with.

I have never read these books before but my friends who have told me that the books get sadder as you read. So far I have noticed that these books aren’t that hard to read and it doesn’t have that many difficult words. I’m sure a sixth grader would greatly enjoy these books. It is a pretty intense series so as long as their guardian is okay with it.

An interesting take away from the Miller text was when she stated that we should let children read so they can enjoy it and feel comfortable in their reading personalities. She stated that readers to her are “children who incorporate reading into their personal identities to the degree that it weaves into their lives along with everything else that interests them.” I find it so interesting because growing up I realized that children were forced to read whatever parents or adults thought was right for them to read, when in reality if they read what they want they can flourish either way. This is a great statement because it makes you realize that when you become a teacher you have an opportunity to make your children gain good reading behavior by offering them something they like. I am sure they will become excellent readers who can continue to read through adulthood.