Chronicles from the life of the librarian and the students at PFTSTA
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I didn't get up on Saturday morning until I finished Catching Fire. This is the sequel to Hunger Games bySuzanne Collins. The King Arthur archetype story with a boy who unwittingly comes of age to be a leader is turned upside down with the creation of Katniss. She is desperate to save those she loves, but discovers in this sequel that she has become a symbol as a savior for the oppressed in the Districts surrounding the Capitol. No longer do her actions affect just those she loves, they affect all the peoples in her world. This is a heavy burden that she must carry. I will be anxiously awaiting the next installment to find resolution.
This blog post is being designed as a lesson for the English I students at PFTSTA. The teachers and I have collaborated on an activity to celebrate Banned Book Week (BBW). Many times in the past during BBW, I have invited the 8th graders into the library to discuss the banning and challenging of books in schools and libraries. I usually show some videos and share books owned by our library that have been banned or challenged somewhere in the US. This activity always spurs great discussion among the students and teachers. This year we wanted the students to create a written response to the presentation. We thought there was a real world connection if we had the students post their opinion online as a comment to someone writing about censorship in schools. The teachers and I want the students to learn how to compose a well thought out comment that is supported by evidence and concrete details. How more real world could it be than having the students comment directly on their librarian&…
Every year, for Banned Book Week, I prepare a lesson for our 8th graders. It was always teacher directed with discussion until last year. The English I teachers and I created a lesson for the students that included research and writing. I pulled the materials that I wanted them to read, and the students would write a very short essay declaring their belief in the need for teens to be able to exercise their freedom to read what they want to or the need for certain books to be taken off the shelves of the library or pulled from the English curriculum.
Above is the slide presentation that I have made for the students. Included in the slides are several videos that I thought would get the students thinking. There are slides with links to specific articles that we want the students to read and use for the concrete evidence to support their stance. A rubric is included at the end so the students know exactly what is expected. The teachers and I want the writing to have a real world applic…
I am about to embark on a new school year. It will be my 29th year in a school library. Moving from a classroom teacher to the library was the best thing that I ever did. First, I love working with every student in a school; next, I get to design a program that I know builds on the skills that I have taught the year before that the students were with me; and by the time that they leave my school, the students are prepared for their next step whatever that may be.
Writing about why a library program is critical to my students is not because I need to justify what I do everyday, but it is because not everyone in education believes that libraries serve a need. Some believe that since English teachers teach literature and literacy, it is not important for a librarian to do the same. Well, I was not a very good student in elementary school or high school. I loved literature and learning new things just not in the confines of a classroom. With access to a school library and a public librar…