Thursday, July 11, 2013

Opinion, Rant, Same Thing: Required Summer Reading

As we are heading further and further into summer, the last thing on student's minds is reading. However, when the end August rolls around they will all be scrambling to the book store. Why? Dreaded required summer reading. Today I take a look at the different types of summer reading assignments.
As far as my school goes, the objective for summer reading to have something to discus right away on the first day of school, or (more likely) to have a subject for your first literary analysis ready. The assignment was always one of three options: 1) one book everyone has to read, 2) a choice between a few books or 3) choose your own book if it fits certain requirements. Each of these options I believe is very flawed.

The first option doesn't allow any wiggle room for the students taste. Not everyone is at the same reading level and not everyone likes the same books. A Language Arts class will have the some reading for the whole grade. There's no doubt about that. What I'm saying is that during the summer, the case is different. The fact of the matter is that a student is less likely to read a book they don't enjoy when they don't have to face that teacher until three months later.

Option number two has good intent. It is the best liable option, yes. However this, like the third option, doesn't allow for any full class discussion and it can be difficult to manage in a classroom. This is especially true when the class favors one book heavily more so than any of the others.

Finally we have option number three which offers a bit too much freedom to the individual student. Yes, it has good intent. The student is allowed to adjust the assignment to their own reading taste. On the other hand, giving more options doesn't mean the student will accomplish the intended goal. Besides that, it makes it near to impossible for the teacher or any other pupils to help the student in writing their analysis.

What's your experience with summer reading? Which option do you like the best? Continue the conversation below! 

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