Complete list for grades 8-12 GRADE Eight Grade Nine The Boy in the Striped The Hunger Games Trilogy- Pajamas by John Boyne Suzanne Collins A Monster Calls by Patrick 1984-George Orwell Ness (great for reluctant readers) Unwind-Neal Shusterman Artemis Fowl by Eoin Romeo and Juliet-William Colfer Shakespeare Holes by Louis Sachar To Kill a Mockingbird-Harper The Tuesday Cafe by Don Lee Trembath The Taming of the Shrew The Absolutely True Diary of a by William Shakespeare Part-time Indian-Sherman Alexie Percy Jackson & The The Golden Compass/The Subtle Olympians (series) by Rick Knife/The Amber Spyglass-Philip Riordan Pullman (Some controversy as Flowers for Algernon by God dies. Could be grade ten as Daniel Keyes well) The Giver by Lois Lowry Iqbal by Francesco Pigman-Paul Zindel D’Adamo Of Mice and Men- John Steinbeck Inner City Girl like Me- Sabrina Bernardo
Grade Ten Grade TwelveThe Alchemist-Paulo Coelho The Kite Runner-Khaled HosseiniA Separate Peace-John Knowles The Lovely Bones-Alice SeboldA Midsummer Night’s Dream- William Neverwhere-Anansi Boys-American Gods-Neil Shakespeare Gaiman (American Gods is excellent if also planning toMacbeth-Shakespeare study media literacy)The Glass Menagerie-Tennessee Williams Hamlet-ShakespeareBite of the Mango-Mariatu Kamara The Crucible-Arthur MillerCrank-Ellen Hopkins Long Way Gone-Ishmael Beah (Memoir)The Soloist-Steve Lopez The Gap-Ian Ross (Based on the Winnipeg flood of 1997)Chrysalids- John Windhym The Handmaid`s Tale-Margaret AtwoodGenerals Die in Bed-Charles Yale Harrison (Canadian) Not Wanted on the Voyage-Timothy FindleyGrade Eleven (Canadian)Good Night Desdemona (Good Morning Juliet)- The English Patient-Michael Ondaatje Anne-Marie Macdonald (Canadian)Night-Elie WiselWild Geese-Martha Ostenso (Manitoba Interlake)A Doll’s House-Henrik IbsenThe Great Gatsby-F. Scott FitzgeraldBrave New World-Aldous HuxleyTess Of the D’Ubervilles-Thomas HardyLife of Pi-Yann MartelFrankenstein- Mary ShelleyOthello- William Shakespeare
RATIONALE• Our book choices for grades 8 through 12 have a variety of themes and reading levels. The diversity of the selections allows for flexibility in a classroom that embraces individuality. Furthermore, students are beginning to strengthen their own identities as teenagers in a variety of ways across the grade levels. The themes of dreams, romance, racial conflict, death and war, are very effective for assisting learners in maturing as readers. Some of the choices may also appear at other grade levels. English language arts teachers must remember that appropriate reading selections are dependent on classroom profiles. Some classes or schools with high populations of EAL learners, or below or above grade level readers must adapt reading lists accordingly. We encourage you to be creative with your choices!
GRADE EIGHT: The Boy in the Striped PajamasBy John Boyne• The Boy in the Striped Pajamas would be an appropriate read for a Grade 8 student.• Vocabulary is fairly straightforward.• Plot is easy to follow.• Can be taught in conjunction with, or as a follow up to the grade 7 Human Rights unit, as a part of a social justice unit, etc.• Scholastic lists the ‘equivalent grade level’ of this novel at 8.3.• Students at this age & grade level are mature enough for the subject at hand (The Holocaust).
Novel Summary• [Novel is set in 1943 during WWII.]• Bruno is a naive, 9 year old German boy and son of the Commandant of the SS Army. He lives a good life in Berlin until he and his family must move to Auschwitz because of his fathers job. Bruno’s boredom and love of exploration lead him to wander along the fence dividing his home and the Auschwitz concentration camp. Here, Bruno meets Shmuel; a 9 year old Jewish boy imprisoned on the opposite side of the fence. Bruno visits Shmuel everyday, and the two boys begin a secret, yet heart-warming friendship.• Bruno and Shmuel decide to live-out one final adventure before Bruno is to return to Berlin [“Auschwitz is no place for children”] to help Shmuel look for his father who has ‘gone missing’. Shmuel gives Bruno a pair of ‘striped pajamas’ and he crawls under a gap in the fence. While investigating the camp for clues, Bruno and Shmuel get tangled up in a march and end up in a gas chamber.• The novel ends one year later with Bruno’s father going back to the spot where his son’s clothes were recovered. He notices a gap in the fence small enough for a boy of his son’s size to crawl under. He falls to the ground in devastation and is incarcerated by the Red Army when Auschwitz is finally liberated.
Three teaching activities• 1.) Bruno’s homes: Artistic Representation• Draw your version of Bruno’s first home in Berlin and second home in Auschwitz. While you are to be creative, you must stay true to the specific details given about each home in the novel. Label all of the details you include.• 2.) Write the ‘Letter to Grandmother’• In chapter 8, Bruno writes a letter to his grandmother. Readers only hear about the beginning ‘Dear Grandmother’ and the end ‘your loving grandson, Bruno’. Students are now offered the opportunity to write that letter. Students are expected to brainstorm and compose a letter that would include all of the important information Bruno would tell his grandmother.• 3.) Book in a Bag (Final Project)• ‘Book in a bag’ is a creative version of a book report that is orally presented to the class. On the front of the paper bag, students must come up with a cover illustration that they think is appropriate/fitting for the text; on the back, students provide a summary of the novel. Students must then fill the inside of the bag with articles/items/photos that they can use to explain the novel. This project is then presented orally to the class.
Before and after supplementary readings•Hana’s Suitcase [Karen Levine]•Night [Elie Wiesel]•The Diary of Anne Frank•Maus (Graphic Novel)[Art Spiegelman]•Yossel (Graphic Novel) [Joe Kubert]•I Never Saw Another Butterfly [Hana Volavokva] *collection of poetry and illustrations written by children in the Terezin concentration camp.
GRADE NINE: The Hunger GamesBy Suzanne Collins• Because this novel has been presented a number of times, I respectfully submit that you do not need to hear the summary again from me…• Introduction• In grade eight students have studied The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, The Diary of Anne Frank and Maus. In grade nine while studying The Hunger Games, we will weave continuity into our learning by examining the Holocaust (among many other themes) as it relates to The Hunger Games.
MAJOR THEMES IN THE HUNGER GAMES Survival Power Family Identity Image and Appearances Society and Class structure Love Friendship Strength and Skill Freedom and Oppression Competition Sacrifice Man-made vs. Naturally made Materialism
TEACHING ACTIVITIES• 1. The Hunger Games and The Holocaust • During the reading of the Hunger Games take time to consider connections between Suzanne Collins novel and the Holocaust. Adolf Hitler wanted to create a ‘New Order’, which included domination and extermination. As a result, millions of innocent people died. Although the Holocaust was not a public form of entertainment, previously decent people were convinced to commit horrible acts. Were they brainwashed? Why did they agree to kill friends and neighbors? In this activity students will form research and discussion groups. Big questions will be explored and researched with specific reference to the novel and the history of the Holocaust. Each group will be assigned a different character, setting or theme that might have a connection to the Holocaust and then present their findings and ideas to the larger group.
TEACHING ACTIVITIES CONTINUED• 2. The Hunger Games is told from the point of view of Katniss Everdeen. This activity will give students the opportunity to get inside of another characters head. Each student will choose a character from the novel and keep a journal of their thoughts from the beginning of the games until the end. Encourage students to also express their characters’ thoughts in the form of poetry and song. The journal can also include, drawings, maps designs etc.• 3. After the novel is complete place the students into 13 groups. The Capitol and the 12 districts. Groups will use the information from the novel to create a map of Panem. Based on the industry, agriculture etc. in each district students will deduce where in the United States the district is found. Drawings, maps, rationales, research and more should be included in the final project.
SUPPLEMENTARY TEXTS AND MATERIALS• Edith Hamilton’s Mythology: Timeless Tales of Gods and• Heroes. The story of Theseus and King Minos of Crete• The story of Joan of Arc: Comparing Katniss to Joan of Arc ( allows for incorporation of Feminist literary criticism)• Neal Shusterman-Unwind: Children running for their lives in a world where their body parts may be harvested for use by other people.• William Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar for the theme of downfall of the powerful, and Romeo and Juliet for the theme of star-crossed lovers.• John Steinbeck: Grapes of Wrath- Ordinary people struggling to survive in horrendous circumstances. Conflict between classes, rich landowners, bankers and farmers. (allows for incorporation of Marxist literary criticism)• George Orwell- 1984: A perfect synergist text that explores a similar dystopian society with rigid controls, distinct class structures and constant surveillance.• William Golding-Lord of the Flies: Illustrates how primitive and vicious young people can become when forced to survive in a wilderness setting.• Shirley Jackson- The Lottery• Reality television – Survivor and Big Brother• Films- The Truman Show ( 1998) and Gladiator (2000) • Famous quote: “ ARE YOU NOT ENTERTAINED?”
GRADE TEN: The AlchemistBy Paulo Coelho• The novel is about the journey of a boy, and the pursuit of his life long dream. Santiago is a young shepherd from Andalusia, Spain. During his travels through the countryside, he spends the night at an abandoned church. While he is asleep, Santiago has a vision of himself at the pyramids in Egypt and a young boy tells him that if he comes there he will find a hidden treasure. Santiago then embarks on the adventure of a lifetime to the pyramids and back to his home in Andalusia. Along the way, he learns many valuable lessons, forms new friendships and finds his treasure. However, readers ultimately learn that the greatest treasure is found in the journey and not the destination.
THEMES•Dreams and the pursuit of happiness.•Love vs. Personal Endeavors•Internal conflict•The connection of man and nature•The power of fear
Strategies for implementation• Reading Responses: • 1. As Santiago, write a letter to your father about what has happened to you so far and where you are currently (pg. 3- 25). • 2. Melchizedek says to Santiago, “When you really want something to happen, the whole universe conspires so that your wish comes true.” Write a response that captures a time in your own life when you had a wish, and you felt that the whole universe conspired “for” or “against” you. What happened to make you feel that way? Did your wish come true? (This response should be a ½ page in length). • 3. Read pages 146-155. Write a news report as if you are a tribesman watching Santiago turn himself into the wind (The report should be ¾ of a page in length).
Major EssayDreams and Personal Legends Essay Assignment Music and literature share a common trait of portraying the thoughts and feelings of people. In The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho, the human endeavor of fulfilling dreams is portrayed by Santiago. His struggles and successes during his journey reveal some common perceptions about dreams, or personal legends. These common perceptions are also revealed in music through lyrics and other musical devices such as tempo, bridge and interlude. Essay Question: How does the author’s view of dreams/personal legends during Santiago’s journey parallel the views of the artist in the song you have selected? Ex. Lose Yourself By EminemExample Thesis Statement: Paulo Coelho’s novel The Alchemist and Eminem’s Lose Yourself portray the persistence required to overcome struggles in following ones personal legend or dream.A list of song choices is provided below: Dreamer By SuperTramp Lose Yourself By Eminem I Will Sail My Vessel By Garth Brooks Fatima By K’naan
Supplementary materials• The Story of Narcissus • For comparison to the text version.• Lose Yourself by Eminem• Dreamer by Supertramp• I Will Sail My Vessel by Fatima• Fatima by K’naanAll songs can be used for an essay assignment dealing with the theme of dreams.
GRADE ELEVEN: Goodnight Desdemona(Good Morning Juliet)By Anne-Marie MacDonald• We selected this book for a grade 11 ELA class. The text is written both in modern English as well as Shakespearean style language. Therefore, students need to have a firm grasp of Shakespearean language before attempting this play. GDGMJ makes reference to both Othello and Romeo and Juliet. If you are able, it is best to structure the readings so that GDGMJ is read after Romeo and Juliet, and perhaps in the same year as Othello. Themes of identity and feminist theory begin to emerge in this short play. Consequently, it can be a really great time developmentally to begin to teach critical theories that influence writing.
Summary Goodnight Desdemona (Good Morning Juliet) is written by Canadian Governor General Award winning poet/writer Anne-Marie MacDonald (Oprah’s Book Club: Fall On Your Knees). This is a fantastic example of Canadian Modern Drama. Although it borrows strongly from Elizabethan English the quirky and witty Canadian tone is ever present. In this drama Constance Ledbelly, an assistant professor that works with a fellow assistant professor Claude Night at Queen’s University is fixated on a mysterious manuscript; one that if she can decode will support her belief that Shakespeare was not the original author of his great plays. In the beginning of the play we are told that she herself is the writer of Professor Night’s papers that have now granted him a full professorship position at Oxford. The feminist themes begin to emerge at the very beginning of the play with Constance, a brilliant writer in her own right, being over shadowed by her contemporary, who is male.• Magically one day, perhaps due to the mysterious manuscript, Constance is transported first into the world of Desdemona where she manages to foil Iago’s plan to convince Othello to kill Desdemona. Constance befriends Desdemona instead and begins to discover her own inner Amazon. Just as suddenly as she popped into Othello she manages to pop out and land in Verona where she becomes the object of affection for both Juliet and Romeo. As is the convention of the Bard himself there are many cross-gender encounters and mistaken identities. As Constance makes her way through the two plays she rewrites not only the scripts of the two Shakespearean plays but she also begins to recreate her own identity.
Pre-reading activity: Visual Analysis Content: Students will work individually to analyse the cover. Students will be asked to consider colour, style, space, line, perception and use of multimedia. Students will then join together in a small group (3-4 students). Here, the students will share and reflect on what was discovered in the individual assessment. Students will arrive at a common understanding of the visual text. A designated reporter will share the group’s ideas to the class.
Content•Students will show understanding of puns by finding an example in the text and creating one of their own using the words provided. Students will identify the double meaning, decide whether the pun is either homophonic or homographic. Find a pun in GDGMJ. Create a new pun using words provided. Design a visual representation of your pun.
After reading activity-Storytelling/VisualSummary Content: Students will create groups of 2-3 and summarize the story, recalling it in order, piecing it together and clarifying issues that may have been missed. Once students have a common understanding of the story they will create a summary using visual images on a storyboard.
Supplementary ReadingPoetry:Phenomenal Woman (Maya Angelou)Who said it was simple (Audre Lorde)Flying Inside your Own Body (Margaret Atwood)Siren Song (Margaret Atwood)Short Story:The Yellow Wallpaper (Charlotte Perkins)A Rose for Emily ( William Faulkner)Film/Plays:Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead ( Tom Stoppard)A Doll’s House (Henrik Ibsen)Othello & Romeo and Juliet (Shakespeare)Novels:The Awakening (by Kate Chopin)Their Eyes were Watching God (Aora Neale Hurston)
GRADE TWELVE: The Kite RunnerBy Khaled Hosseini The Kite Runner is a novel by Khaled Hosseini. Published in 2003 by Riverhead Books, it is Hosseinis first novel, and was adapted into a film of the same name in 2007. The Kite Runner tells the story of Amir, a young boy from the Wazir Akbar Khan district of Kabul, whose closest friend is Hassan, his fathers young Hazara servant. The story is set against a backdrop of tumultuous events, from the fall of Afghanistans monarchy through the Soviet invasion, the mass exodus of refugees to Pakistan and the United States, and the rise of the Taliban regime. Courtesy of Wikipedia
THEMES SUPPLEMENTARY TEXTS:• Betrayal Khaled Hosseini, A Thousand Splendid Suns.• Role of books/literacy• Coming of age Robert D. Kaplan, Soldiers of God: With Islamic Warriors in Afghanistan and• Courage vs. Cowardice Pakistan.• Cruelty and Evil Greg Mortenson, Three Cups of Tea~can• Goodness and Friendship be taught with the ‘controversy’ in• Guilt, injustice and healing mind, excellent discussion point. Make comparisons to Sir Edmund Hillary• Search for identity• Power Mir Hekmatullah Sadat, The Afghan Experience• Wealth• Salvation Sue Sherman, Cambridge Wizard Student Guide: The Kite Runner by Khaled• Truth Hosseini.• Redemption http://www.teachervision.fen.com/tv/printables/penguin/ KiteRunner_SG.pdf
Reading assignments1. Research Afghan geography, history, and the Taliban. Obtain an understanding of the physical and political surroundings in Afghanistan, particularly in Kabul. Research and report on the Taliban, the history, legacy and devastating impacts its regime had on Afghanistan.2. Create a word bank of Afghan words from the book, include English translations. 3-4 students work in groups, each group assigned to selected chapters. Make a bookmarker with the words and translations.3. Investigate the Afghani passion for kite fighting. When the Taliban fell from power in Afghanistan kite fighting once again became a legal activity. Create a documentary or news report “from Kabul” on the history and resurgence of the ancient sport. “Interview” kite makers, flyers and runners ( etc.).
Post-reading assignmentsNewspaper Analysis• Investigate Afghanistan and current Afghan political issues.• Read newspapers from around the world, ie. Canada, United States, Europe, & Afghanistan.• Compare and contrast how key topics are portrayed, explained, or omitted.• Analyse how reading this novel has affected your personal world view. (Class discussion required, with a look again at the novel’s themes)
Post-reading activitiesKite Creation-ideally this would be done in a workshop setting with guidance from an expert kite maker.• Extending from the pre-reading kite research each student will design and create a kite that represents them personally.• Utilize colour, motifs & symbols, monograms, family crests, etc.• Write and discuss the thought process in the kite design.• Compare and contrast kite fighting to a Canadian sport.
Post-reading activities continued1. Watch the movie and choose either: Essay Book & Film review• Compare and contrast the film and the novel• How well does the film capture the essence of the novel? Or, in your opinion does it? What, if anything, was omitted from the film? Do you agree disagree? Explain.• Any other topics, ideas you wish to explore…• 2. Choose a portion of the novel ( or film ) and re-write it as a poem or a song.