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Beyond Anne McCaffrey We know Anne's not the only author you read and enjoy. Come here to discuss and discover authors beyond Anne!

View Poll Results: Do you think students should be made to read a certain book.
yes 35 79.55%
no 9 20.45%
Voters: 44. You may not vote on this poll

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Old Jan 19 2008, 09:17 PM   #1
mawra
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Default assigned reading in school

In school do you think student should HAVE to read certain books. I know in school I HATED it when a teacher MADE me read a book. I was just wondering what the rest of you thought. I think as long as the student reads & understands what they read than they should get to choose what to red.
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Old Jan 19 2008, 11:32 PM   #2
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Default Re: assigned reading in school

I disliked a lot of the assigned readed, hated a bit of it...but I also liked and loved a fair bit of it, and not necessarily things I would have expected to like. And certainly many things I like I never would have chosen to read, as it was outside of the realm of things I knew I liked.

I think it's good to be exposed to a wide range of styles and genres, and to be an literate adult it's important to have at least a passing familiarity with certain classics.

Since you're home schooling, one thing you could do if you assign a book that Kibbie hates is have her really analyze what she dislikes about it. Don't let her just say it's not interesting or too hard to read, but get into the nitty-gritty of style, plot, characters, etc and what's not appealing about it. If she can analyze and articulate that, then the book has still served as a useful learning experience.
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Old Jan 20 2008, 05:29 AM   #3
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Default Re: assigned reading in school

some things you dislike in youth you're looking upon differently when older. As ayouth you sometimes can't see the necessity of reading/learning some things, so yes, in some cases you ust have to do what the teacher/school says or requires. Suffice it t say that it'll never do harm, even if you don't like it.
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Old Jan 20 2008, 06:46 AM   #4
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Yes, so long as the book assigned is at the right level for the pupil.
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Old Jan 20 2008, 07:06 AM   #5
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Default Re: assigned reading in school

Yes, I think so. I would never have gone out and read some of the books we were made to read as part of class at school, but I'm glad that I did - it made me appreciate more about books now.
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Old Jan 20 2008, 04:22 PM   #6
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Default Re: assigned reading in school

If I hadn't been made to read A Wrinkle In Time I would have had no idea I liked SF
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Old Jan 20 2008, 07:24 PM   #7
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Default Re: assigned reading in school

As much as I suffered through school reading certain books, it's probably helped me out in the long run. It also depends on how the book is taught in a class. A unbearable book to read can be made a little more bearable, if the teacher knows how to present it to the class.
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Old Jan 20 2008, 10:51 PM   #8
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Default Re: assigned reading in school

Even in uni, I disliked certain books, but I would never have read Patrick White, whose books I now collect (if I collected Patrick White I would have to be a grave-robber )nor would I have come to read Jane Eyre, which I love!
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Old Jan 22 2008, 04:59 AM   #9
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It's how I came to discover the Dark Is Rising sequence, and the Earthsea stories, which I wouldn't have found on my own. It's how I came to read Orwell as well.
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Old Jan 22 2008, 07:57 AM   #10
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Default Re: assigned reading in school

Quote:
Originally Posted by ghyle View Post
Even in uni, I disliked certain books, but I would never have read Patrick White, whose books I now collect (if I collected Patrick White I would have to be a grave-robber )nor would I have come to read Jane Eyre, which I love!
So you don't collect White because you don't want to be a graverobber but you do love a corpse?

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Old Jan 22 2008, 01:29 PM   #11
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Default Re: assigned reading in school

I was thinking about having her read Mark Twain.
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Old Jan 22 2008, 02:25 PM   #12
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Default Re: assigned reading in school

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Originally Posted by mawra View Post
I was thinking about having her read Mark Twain.
Huckleberry Finn was one of the best books I've ever read, but I didn't have to read it till I was 15. I'm not sure I would have appreciated it when I was younger.
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Old Jan 22 2008, 03:21 PM   #13
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Default Re: assigned reading in school

I'd wait on Huckleberry Finn, but she might enjoy Tom Sawyer!
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Old Jan 22 2008, 03:50 PM   #14
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Default Re: assigned reading in school

I absolutely hate Huckleberry Finn!!

You know, I'm not sure how much literary value this book has, but you might try The Trumpeter of Krakow. I read it in elementary school and loved it, and I know it was part of our reading program.
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Old Jan 22 2008, 04:34 PM   #15
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Default Re: assigned reading in school

Interesting question. Last weekend in one of the main UK newspapers there was an article on "100 Books every child should read". Some of them were new to me (and I thought I'd read everything worth reading as a child ), but you might find it a useful quarry for suggestions

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/arts/main...-mostviewedbox
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Old Jan 22 2008, 09:47 PM   #16
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Default Re: assigned reading in school

What others have already said makes a lot of sense. Personally, though, there were some things I was forced to read that I still don't see the value in and wish I'd never read them. Kafka springs instantly to mind. The story we read (7th grade?) was really disturbing and I still see no real literary value in it. There are others I have similar feelings about but, as other people have said, some I'm very glad I was made to read. To this day I still love Jane Austin and Wm. Shakespeare, just to mention a couple. I wouldn't recommend Huck Finn either but Tom Sawyer might be good for her to try. And what was the name of the novella (short story?) about the hot air balloon? Anyway, she'll need to have at least some understanding of Mark Twain, as a cultural thing. It might be a good idea to get one of those Home School guidlines and see what's on the reading list for her age group then pick and choose which will be most beneficial for her (not necessarily what she expresses the most interest in).
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Old Jan 22 2008, 10:27 PM   #17
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Default Re: assigned reading in school

We have talked about it, & I have decided that I am goin go to the library & check out something by Mark twain. We are going to read it aloud together with Mom & discuss it. That way Mom can particapete & hear a good book. (Mom eye sight is out of wack because of the stroke, until she gets new glasses). This will also give Kibbie a chance to read out loud, which she need to do. In a month or so we will get a different book that Mom pick out, then Kibbie gets to pick a book. The only rule is the book can not be one that Kibbie has read before.
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Old Jan 24 2008, 03:01 PM   #18
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Default Re: assigned reading in school

As adult, I really appreciate having read all those different books during school and college.

Now I can participate in discussions and educate my 17-year-old son hitting exactly what he knows and wants to know. Exciting.

It taught me to distinguish between good and bad litterature, especially I appreciated being able to distinguish between good and bad Science Fiction.

Knowing your country's great authors is also a plus. I have read Søren Kierkegaard and Hans Christian Andersen, Shakespeare and William Blake.

What I really hated was having to analyse the book, novel, short story, poem to death to accommodate the teacher. Now I like just to read and like or dislike it. Analysing is a good tool though, when I get to analyse myself

Read on, everyone, discover new worlds and new (old) ideas!
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Old Jan 28 2008, 12:18 PM   #19
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Default Re: assigned reading in school

You forgot to put one for yes and no
For me depends on the book. I had to read some boring books in High School
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Old Jan 29 2008, 08:40 PM   #20
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Default Re: assigned reading in school

We have started reading The Prince and The Pauper. We are going to read it aloud as a family & discuss it.
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Old Jan 30 2008, 10:27 AM   #21
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Default Re: assigned reading in school

Quote:
Originally Posted by mawra View Post
We have started reading The Prince and The Pauper. We are going to read it aloud as a family & discuss it.
That's a really, really good book. I remember reading that one, though it did take me two attempts to do so. My first try was me getting as far as halfway through the first chapter.
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Old Jan 31 2008, 04:01 PM   #22
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Default Re: assigned reading in school

So far Kibbie had liked it.
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Old Jan 31 2008, 04:30 PM   #23
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Default Re: assigned reading in school

The B.B.C. did a really good Costume drama of it over about 10 weeks.
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Old Feb 1 2008, 04:35 AM   #24
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Default Re: assigned reading in school

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The B.B.C. did a really good Costume drama of it over about 10 weeks.
The costumes were that bad?


*runs*
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Old Feb 5 2008, 09:06 PM   #25
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The costumes were that bad?


*runs*
*GROOOANNN* Hans!

Yes ...assigned reading seems like a great trial at the time but does pay off later in life...
It is just as important to learn what you don't like!
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Old Feb 6 2008, 08:20 AM   #26
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Hans: you need to duck too!!!!!
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Old Feb 7 2008, 10:59 AM   #27
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Default Re: assigned reading in school

*quack*

Right ho, Sir. Thanks for the advice.
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Old Feb 9 2008, 12:53 AM   #28
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Default Re: assigned reading in school

I have always been very glad that I was made to read so many of the great book of literature, when I was in school. Overall I think it sets a life time tone of reading, of searching out new adventures in books. I don't think that any book that is appropriate for the age, is bad for a childs development. I believe that all books add to a persons character...and life experences.

The Pince and the Pauper is a fantastic book...I think that it's a great choice for all of you to read together.

There are a couple of lovely films of this story...perhaps you could rent them from your local library.


@Hans....
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Old Feb 9 2008, 03:03 PM   #29
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Default Re: assigned reading in school

I know my first introduction to it was the version with Mickey Mouse - it played before the movie "The Rescuers Down Under" which really confused me! We got the book based on the movie, then later got a "Best Illustrated Classics" which was severely abridged but not dumbed down too much, and finally I read the original. It's been a while - I should read it again!

Anyone else remember the Disney version?
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Old Feb 11 2008, 11:27 AM   #30
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Default Re: assigned reading in school

I'm pretty sure I've seen the Disney version at least once, but it has been awhile.

I've never read the original version of the Prince and the Pauper, but I own and have read an abridged version of it which is probably the same one as yours, Brenda.
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Old Feb 11 2008, 02:24 PM   #31
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"Best Illustrated Classics" - I got a ton of these from my aunt for Christmas and birthday presents, but was really mad when I read some of the originals and realized what I'd been stuck with! They were fairly accurate in the story, and sometimes even the writing, but they were still Not The Real Thing.
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Old Jun 29 2008, 04:45 PM   #32
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That depend on what your reading list is.

I had a few I like and a few that did set well we me.
Like: When the Red Fern Grows, The Witch of Blackbird Pond are two I do .
Dislike: Don't recall right now.
I can analyze and trying articulate what I've read is hard. That is why sometime my own feedback is hard to read.

I recall one Hans Christian Andersen, I think, but the only thing I recall is something about wheels, and birds using them for nest.

Swiss Family Robinson was good. In fact I about wore it out.
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Old Jun 29 2008, 04:54 PM   #33
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Re: assigned reading in school



I teach school. If the teachers didn't assign reading, 99% of my students would never read any books.

At the beginning of each school year, I survey my students to discover their reading habits and preferences. In the last three years, 87% of my students reported a Dr. Seuss book as the last book they read from cover to cover.

I teach 7th grade in an upper middle class school district. My students pass all their federally-mandated tests. 83% of them are college-bound. They just don't like reading.

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Old Jul 1 2008, 12:57 AM   #34
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Yes, assigned reading is good. However, I wouldn't inflict Huckleberry Finn on someone with reading difficulties. The dialects used mean a lot of unconventional spellings, and it won't help Kibbie's reading at all.

There are certainly some books I was assigned in school that I would never have discovered on my own, but don't make her analyze the book to death, and let her draw her own conclusions about the meaning of the book. I despise teachers who give bad marks to students just for seeing the world of a fictional book differently than they do: as long as it's obvious there's thought behind an analysis, it must be accepted on its own merits even if the teacher disagrees with the content.

I had a classmate who hated the assignments and hated the book reports even more. On the day he graduated, he swore he'd never read a book of fiction again. As far as I know, he hasn't.

More important than teaching kids to analyze books is to simply teach them to enjoy different kinds of books. And also to teach them that they can despise a book, an author or a genre and still enjoy reading. If she really, really dislikes a book and can give a good reason for it, she should be allowed to abandon it.
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Old Jul 1 2008, 05:36 AM   #35
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My problem was the opposite to those of your pupils, Laura.
I came from a primary (4-11) school who worked out my reading ability fairly quickly and gave me books that extended my interests and ability (I read the hobbit aged 8 thanks to my year 3 teacher). Then I went to High School. Year 7, top set book- Mrs Frisby and the Rats of Nimh, good book but more than a bit basic for someone who read almost exclusively adult books at home.
The only two "adult books" we read in High School were Jane Eyre and Of Mice and Men. I was in top set all the time too, apart from the rather dim decision they made in Year 9 to mix all the sets.
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Old Jul 3 2008, 01:44 PM   #36
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In school do you think student should HAVE to read certain books. I know in school I HATED it when a teacher MADE me read a book. I was just wondering what the rest of you thought. I think as long as the student reads & understands what they read than they should get to choose what to red.
I also hated being told what to read in my english classes in high school when I had to take my regents test I could remember which books I had to read and the ones I read on my own. Some of the books I read for school I found boring and also had a theme (law). I read Tom Sawyer on my own and I enjoyed it.
Well I guess it depends on the book and the teacher too.
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Old Jul 11 2008, 06:44 PM   #37
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I'm a great believer in reading whatever you can find, and school booklists, though pretty hideous at the time, can be an amazing treasure trove. The real problem I had was when I was forced to use the 'school reader' version, rather than the real book. I read the unabridged Count of Monte Cristo when I was 11 and adored it, FAR more interesting and made a lot more sense than the (badly) abridged version I had first found. And imagine my untrammelled joy when I found the unabridged Jane Eyre - there was MORE! WHEE!

The worst 'required' reading - Moby Dick. Herman Melville still puts me to sleep. But I forced my way through it, got the shape of it, did my report and swore never to read it again. That said - if somebody says 'Call me Ishmael', I can laugh knowingly along with the rest of the educated louts. Came up recently in the movie "The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen", about 3 years ago, so there is always an advantage in being culturally aware. If only to be able to say authoritatively that you think Melville is rubbish!
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Old Jul 11 2008, 10:08 PM   #38
Emeraldrose
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Default Re: assigned reading in school

I love to read and fortunately my High School English classes were heavily into literature
I loved my Woirld Literature class and was exposed to a lot of authros and books from something other than America and England....
As others have said there were some stories/books that I hated to read and read them only because they were assigned
Funnily enough my daughter was required to read the Harper Hall trilogy for school and hated it ...but when she was home due to illness she picked it up and actually enjoyed it
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Old Jul 13 2008, 10:18 PM   #39
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Default Re: assigned reading in school

The Smallest Dragonboy was in my 7th-grade English textbook - we never read it in class but I always read ahead anyway, and I used to go through and read it again and again. Was so glad to find out it was in Get Off the Unicorn, so I could have my own copy!
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Old Jul 14 2008, 03:39 PM   #40
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Default Re: assigned reading in school

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lanen View Post
<snip>after, e.g., de Maupassant...
His erotic stories are not bad, seen in the light of the times he lived in of course.
But oh... those probably won't be on a High School reading list, right?
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