That's right. I couldn't stand it. Several years ago, my team wanted us all to read "The Tiger Rising" to go with our realistic fiction unit, so I read it. Then I read it again. And again. Each time I disliked it more. I told them that I just couldn't do it--I couldn't invest that much in a book I didn't enjoy myself. They were fine with that...so I went on a quest for a new book to use.
Here's the deal--the more I thought about it, the more I felt I should do what my team was doing so we could have quality discussions about how we were using the text and so on. Our unit was a new one, and I felt it would be odd to be the lone defector. Besides, I reminded myself, it isn't about ME, right?
So into the text we dug.
Seriously...each day as we read my students got deeper and deeper into it and we had some of the BEST discussions I have ever had with fourth graders. From top readers to strugglers, everyone found a way to make this book their own. We talked about bullying. We talked about characters. We talked about death. We talked about animal cruelty. But most of all...we talked about how powerful books can stay with you forever.
I am getting ready for my fourth year of reading this book with my students, and I can't wait to see what features this group relates to the most. Each year we seem to take a slightly different spin on it, but the effect is the same--books can make us FEEL, and when we can learn to do that with a read aloud, we can learn to do it when we read on our own. So next week as we begin our study of this masterpiece, I am reminded that teaching isn't about me...it's about my learners and the interactions and experiences I provide for them. I can't wait.
|I even invested in a set of 12 so we could use the text later in the year to "dig deeper" and go hunt for evidence! We ended up talking about this book and the characters ALL year.|
This week I am joining Dilly Dabbles for her new link up for "Book Share Wednesday". Yes, I know it's Friday. It's been a crazy week! What about you? What are YOU reading with your class right now? I'd love to hear it!
Want to see more about it? For some reason, the cover image doesn't show!