November 27, 2007

Did I Really Have to Tell You That?

This quarter I am asking my students to stretch their independent reading interests by reading about real people who are different from them. The first book task requires that students read a biography or an autobiography. In addition, the book has to be within the student's reading level, it must have chapters and not be a graphic biography. (Nothing against graphic biographies here, but the book report is going to be created in Comic Life, so it would have been odd.)

Although we have a wonderful library and a librarian who is a magician in matching kid to book, I did tell my students that they could find a book at the public library. Of course, they should show me the book. The vast majority of the time, I have nothing to say about a book a students chooses, so it's a formality that I don't make a big deal about.

Needy Nelly had been telling me for a few days that she picked out a book, but she wasn't sure if it was okay. So, today she brought in her book, a lovely coffee table book about Fernando Botero. Sure, it had a lot of pictures, but it also had chapters, and there was as much text in her book as most books her classmates had in theirs. Unfortunately, the book was written entirely in Spanish.

Nelly did not understand why she couldn't use the book for her assignment.


Did I really need to make that part of the criteria? Students, since this is an English class, be sure your read books in English. Your bilingual abilities are indeed impressive, but for this course we will be practicing skills in just one language, and that will be ENGLISH.

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