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If you could teach any book, what would it be?No reading list, no state standards, no...

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alexb2 | eNotes Employee

Posted May 19, 2010 at 3:25 PM via web

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If you could teach any book, what would it be?

No reading list, no state standards, no objecting parents. If you could teach one book that you've not been able to teach, or that you're just interested to try out, what would it be?

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Scott Locklear | College Teacher | eNotes Employee

Posted May 19, 2010 at 3:46 PM (Answer #2)

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Definitely Hopscotch by Julio Cortazar. The subject matter--rich and beautiful and nuanced, but certainly controversial--would never make it past a reading board.

Scott Locklear

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clairewait | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted May 19, 2010 at 4:36 PM (Answer #3)

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A Prayer for Owen Meany or The World According to Garp for fiction and Me Talk Pretty One Day (perhaps for AP Comp. essay analysis).  Would definitely reserve both these books for older students of the highest thinking variety.

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copelmat | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Associate Educator

Posted May 19, 2010 at 5:32 PM (Answer #4)

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In my mind, it would hard to beat Conrad's Heart of Darkness. Although certainly not the most uplifting of novels, the style, themes, and literary devices are extensive and the overall message is highly philosophical--all elements I search for in selecting literature to teach.

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lynn30k | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Associate Educator

Posted May 19, 2010 at 5:49 PM (Answer #5)

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I would love to teach Dune, not because it a lasting work of literature, but because it does such a good job of creating an entire universe....deals with ecology, economics, feminism, religion, biology, medicine. You name it, it's in there.

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bullgatortail | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

Posted May 19, 2010 at 5:53 PM (Answer #6)

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Since it's my favorite novel and since I've never been able to teach it before, I would have to say Joseph Heller's Catch-22. I had the pleasure of first reading it in my 12th grade English class, and will forever be grateful for my teacher for teaching it. My other favorite choices would be Jerzy Kosinski's The Painted Bird (an excellent example of Holocaust literature) and Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird (which I have taught before).

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epollock | Valedictorian

Posted May 19, 2010 at 9:19 PM (Answer #7)

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I would teach The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn because of the rich variety of topics that Twain serves up in each chapter is generally overwhelming for most first-time readers. The book has something for everyone. And, it is one of the staples in Literature classes around the world.

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krishna-agrawala | College Teacher | Valedictorian

Posted May 20, 2010 at 2:14 AM (Answer #8)

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A very difficult choice. I think think this discussion can become more than just a names of different books suggested by different I people, I will just put down some criteria that that I will use for selecting such a book.

  1. It has to be a book which I personally enjoyed reading and found useful.
  2. It has to be a book that I can teach well.
  3. It is a book which the students would normally not get a chance to study otherwise, as a part of their normal curriculum.
  4. The book must match the needs and interests of the students. I generally teach post-graduate students in management. But even among these students there is deference in their understanding as the progress with their studies. Also different students may have different choices for specialization.
  5. The students should really benefit from the study of the book in some basic and permanent way.
  6. Finally the book should require some teaching. Some books are meant to be read, understood and enjoyed just by yourself. No point in spoiling the whole fun by  trying to teach them in classrooms.

If I was to really take this decision, I am likely to spend quite some time deciding. As indicated in point 4 above, there may be different such books for different groups of people. Also I think, I may change my choice with time.

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brettd | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted May 20, 2010 at 9:31 AM (Answer #9)

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CW2 by Layne Heath about helicopter pilots in the Vietnam War.  I'd teach it in my Military History course.  It's wonderfully written, and does nothing to glorify war while at the same time explaining the bonds between soldiers and the naked horror of it all.  Fantastic, virtually unknown author.

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amy-lepore | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted May 21, 2010 at 8:38 AM (Answer #10)

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I really love The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver.  It is beautifully written and has a depth that is wonderful.

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mkcapen1 | Middle School Teacher | Valedictorian

Posted May 21, 2010 at 1:48 PM (Answer #11)

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If you could teach any book, what would it be?

No reading list, no state standards, no objecting parents. If you could teach one book that you've not been able to teach, or that you're just interested to try out, what would it be?

  I think that I would teach A Thousand Splendid Suns. I know that the males would moan but so often women in America have the benefit of taking our way of life for granted.  I want them to see how free we are compared to women in countries who have to wear burqas and have their lives restricted.

The days of such lifestyles are far from over.  Reading the book gave me a better insight to the life that I take for granted.  I also believe that the author writes beautifully.  He makes his country sound beautiful while also exposing the readers to the problems.

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paulagz | Student , Undergraduate | Honors

Posted May 21, 2010 at 10:14 PM (Answer #12)

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An anthology of western literature

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droark | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Adjunct Educator

Posted May 23, 2010 at 10:29 AM (Answer #13)

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Defnitely postively  A Canticle for Leibowitz by Walter Miller. There really is absolutely no reason that I couldn't teach this book because it is at a high school reading level with some very powerful examples of the most powerful literary elements, such as symbolism and foreshadowing. It is a bit religious, but it also takes a look objectively a the religion of the characters (which would be easier for students to understand than the Puritans in The Crucible or the culture of Shakespeare...and we teach those). Overall I just love that it takes one of the most basic modern human dilemmas, live after nuclear war, and hypothesizes about its impact on individuals.

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swimma-logan | Student , College Freshman | Valedictorian

Posted May 26, 2010 at 3:43 AM (Answer #14)

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Tough question...I could possibly narrow it down to three choices: either the Norton Reader, because it contains a  wide variety of expertly crafted pieces, Breakfast at Tiffany's, because it changed me, or The Perks of Being a Wallflower, teens need to know that someone understands...

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kiwi | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator

Posted May 26, 2010 at 8:59 PM (Answer #15)

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I know it is an old chestnut but I love teaching Of Mice and Men. Eighteen years on the issues of loneliness and isolation still appeal to our youth, and they can appreciate and understand Steinbeck's simple yet expressive language.

'Mr Pip' is also a great read and I am looking forward to my students and I exploring The Kite Runner. And I love 'Othello' too: 406 years on and my seniors still marvel at the audacity and cruelty of Iago.

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted May 29, 2010 at 3:37 AM (Answer #16)

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I agree with amy-lepore - I love The Poisonwood Bible but I would also love to teach The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy. It is such an amazing book that refers to a postcolonial India and the legacy of so many secrets and shames. I also really want to teach Henry James' Portrait of a Lady - awesome in its psychological exploration of Isabel Archer's choices and motives and then her final life after choosing to marry the infernal Gilbert Osmond.

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angelcann | College Teacher | (Level 2) Adjunct Educator

Posted June 1, 2010 at 8:51 AM (Answer #17)

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I have to go with Neil Gaiman's American Gods. Not only did I enjoy it, but every time I re-read it, I notice something else. It's a well-crafted story that challenges its readers to think.

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tommy7427 | eNotes Newbie

Posted June 1, 2010 at 8:56 AM (Answer #18)

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Last Stop: A Survivor's Story. Great book!

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appletrees | College Teacher | (Level 2) Associate Educator

Posted June 1, 2010 at 5:55 PM (Answer #19)

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I'd like to teach The Secret History by Donna Tartt some day. I think it's one of the most masterfully written novels by a contemporary writer, certainly in my own top ten for contemporary novels. It would make an interesting companion piece to reading or discussing The Great Gatsby, given the narrative and style similarities.

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susan3smith | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator

Posted June 2, 2010 at 10:13 AM (Answer #20)

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I do teach Roy's God of Small Things to advanced seniors, and they love it!  It is controversial, but I have not had complaints from parents (YET), and I have taught it for the past 3 years now.  The story is quite powerful, and it seems to spark much discussion especially among my normally reticent Asian students.  I would love to teach Poisonwood Bible. The story is also very powerful, and I think it's Kingsolver's best.  Another one that I think would be a hit with students is Cormac McCarthy's All the Pretty Horses.  It is a wonderful journey, coming of age, Western, adventure, love, hero story.

By the way, I was excited to read the endorsement of Hopscotch.  One of my students gave me the novel and thought I would like it.  Alas, it has sat on my shelf for a while now.  It may be my next book to read--for me.

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jdemarco | High School Teacher | eNoter

Posted June 2, 2010 at 3:05 PM (Answer #21)

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If you could teach any book, what would it be?

No reading list, no state standards, no objecting parents. If you could teach one book that you've not been able to teach, or that you're just interested to try out, what would it be?

The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy by Douglass Adams.

This novel, and the whole series for that matter gives a great look into life as we know it and questions the fiber of human existence in the universe. Students would love it and it would spark many conversations about Creation vs. Religion..hence why it would never pass.

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jdemarco | High School Teacher | eNoter

Posted June 2, 2010 at 3:07 PM (Answer #22)

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In my mind, it would hard to beat Conrad's Heart of Darkness. Although certainly not the most uplifting of novels, the style, themes, and literary devices are extensive and the overall message is highly philosophical--all elements I search for in selecting literature to teach.

great novel and would be great to show Apocolypse Now with the novel...although this is a college novel I think it could be taught to High School Seniors..

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swimma-logan | Student , College Freshman | Valedictorian

Posted June 3, 2010 at 4:02 AM (Answer #23)

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The Poisonwood Bible is indeed an excellent book, and it is taught to advanced seniors in my school.

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mzach | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Adjunct Educator

Posted June 3, 2010 at 11:45 AM (Answer #24)

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The Giver, by Lois Lowry.  As an adult, this is still one of my favorite books of all time.  It is a book that I think can be easily enjoyed, but not fully understood without commitment to study it.  I am amazed at how much I learn each time I re-read the book.

There are so many books that I "have" to teach that I feel really are self-explanatory.  We do a plot analysis and character study...maybe look at some symbolism, but often I feel that if left on their own, the kids would get the gist of the novel.  That is not the case with The Giver.

Every time I teach it, I have students who say, "I've already read it!" to which I reply, "You haven't read it with me!"  I run simulations in my classroom, starting each day with a class "Telling of Feelings" complete with a lengthy list of rules the students must follow.  They never really understand a world where feelings are not accepted until we go through the ritual at least 4 or 5 times.  It is an understanding so much deeper than they could attain on their own.

This is a book students can fully enter into and physically interact with.  I don't feel that I am able to give enough of these experiences to my students while prepping for testing, etc.

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lthrockmorton | High School Teacher | eNoter

Posted June 6, 2010 at 2:52 PM (Answer #25)

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I think The Glass Castle would be an interesting freshman read. For the older grades I would choose Life of Pi. Both I believe are well written and very captivating to a younger audience. But there are rich lessons and concepts in both as well.

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swimma-logan | Student , College Freshman | Valedictorian

Posted June 8, 2010 at 4:15 AM (Answer #26)

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I think The Glass Castle would be an interesting freshman read. For the older grades I would choose Life of Pi. Both I believe are well written and very captivating to a younger audience. But there are rich lessons and concepts in both as well.

I loved Life of Pi! What do you think of The Crysalids?

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swimma-logan | Student , College Freshman | Valedictorian

Posted June 8, 2010 at 4:31 AM (Answer #27)

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I think it would be extremely helpful to teach Thomas C. Foster's How to Read Literature Like a Professor

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Michelle Ossa | College Teacher | (Level 3) Educator Emeritus

Posted June 8, 2010 at 10:21 AM (Answer #28)

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Oh WOW! What a COOL question!!!!!

I would teach the dickens out of Madame Bovary! I'd go for EVERYTHING, the cheating, the overspending, the scandal, the boy toys, her compulsive shopping, the secrets, the crazy mother in law, Charles's lack of manhood. Waaahh! I'd even read it in French first and then in English because it would color the story so much more. I'd even dress like her to teach the class. Don't let me keep going....

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swimma-logan | Student , College Freshman | Valedictorian

Posted June 9, 2010 at 4:00 AM (Answer #29)

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Oh WOW! What a COOL question!!!!!

I would teach the dickens out of Madame Bovary! I'd go for EVERYTHING, the cheating, the overspending, the scandal, the boy toys, her compulsive shopping, the secrets, the crazy mother in law, Charles's lack of manhood. Waaahh! I'd even read it in French first and then in English because it would color the story so much more. I'd even dress like her to teach the class. Don't let me keep going....

I too am looking for something to read, but for leisure not education; I take it you recommend this? (I'm gay, so your description of the book really caught my attention!)

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missjenn | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Adjunct Educator

Posted June 9, 2010 at 5:13 AM (Answer #30)

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I would really love to teach Hairstyles of the Damned by Joe Meno. His writing style is accessible and easy to follow but his content has a great deal of depth. This novel is about a young mans journey through high school through punk and rock lyrics. There is something every student could relate to and the endless ideas of supplemental texts I could use! (John Hughes & 90's teen films as a must!) Also students could relate and find their own texts to compare/contrast this work too, which could lead to an awesome critical lens assignment. This book just lends itself to so many useful ideas that would be fun and engaging for the students and myself! Excellent question!

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K.P.L. Hardison | College Teacher | eNotes Employee

Posted June 9, 2010 at 1:16 PM (Answer #31)

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I'd teach Pride and Prejudice because it touches on just about everything I personally find to be of primary importance and interest in social, moral, and educational topics. It touches on the questions and nature of male-female relationships, the vital nonetheless restricted role of money and power, manners and civility such as are lacking in America today as has been noted by many influential people. It touches on the choices and consequences of teenage romance and sexual relations through Lydia's missteps. It brings to light the significance of and fruits of a sound education through the traits, philosophies, conversations of characters, highlighting abilities to think rationally as well as to evaluate and reevaluate personal positions based on new information while illustrating the dangers of acting on misinformation especially when in the hands of someone who isn't rational (Mr. Collins...). It is an excellent guide for exploring English grammar and vocabulary and writing, whether fictional or academic. And it offers a prime field for exploration of linguistic influence and changes. It's my cup of tea.

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lmallow | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Adjunct Educator

Posted June 9, 2010 at 2:30 PM (Answer #32)

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A book that I have enjoyed teaching in the past was Hatchet.  Middle school students really enjoy this book.  They can identify with the problems that Brian faces in this book.

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ktmagalia | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Assistant Educator

Posted June 9, 2010 at 4:43 PM (Answer #33)

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I'd have to pick The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls. It is truly a memoir that reveals a world in which too many of our students live.  For those of us fortunate enough to have permanent shelter, food, and love, it is a reading experience that brings about compassion for those who struggle in life and an appreciation for those who conquer adversity.  It is beautifully written and inspiring.

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lit24 | College Teacher | Valedictorian

Posted June 9, 2010 at 10:49 PM (Answer #34)

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I'd love to teach Ernest Hemingway's "A Farewell to Arms."

It's the quintessential example of a 'Modern' novel. It was published in 1929 after Hemingway had about fifteen years to objectively look back and try to understand the most catastrophic event of the modern world, namely the First World War.

The novel's beauty lies in the manner in which Hemingway has melded both the historical and political aspect of the first world war and the romance which bloomed against the background of this war between an American ambulance driver and a nurse.

Hemingway's craftsmanship is foregrounded in the manner in which he combines a wide variety of narrative techniques to tell his story in the most captivating manner which makes one to enjoy the cynicism which permeates the entire novel.

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ktmagalia | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Assistant Educator

Posted June 10, 2010 at 7:48 AM (Answer #35)

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I think it would be extremely helpful to teach Thomas C. Foster's How to Read Literature Like a Professor

Absolutely.  Read HTRLLAP will change a reader's experience...as well as the way one watches a movie. Good pick!

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frizzyperm | College Teacher | Valedictorian

Posted June 10, 2010 at 12:47 PM (Answer #36)

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This question encourages me to go straight for the ones off the absolutely banned list that The Land of The Sorta-Free maintains with dextrous and powerful self-censorship. And yes, I really really would advocate letting young minds read these books.

The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins

Das Kapital or The Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx

Our Lady of the Flowers by Genet, Jean

The Immoralist by Gide, Andre

Generation Kill by Evan Wright.

Candide by Voltaire

Confessions of an English Opium Eater by Thomas De Quincey.

American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis

On The Origin of Species

 

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sossa | Elementary School Teacher | eNotes Newbie

Posted June 10, 2010 at 1:41 PM (Answer #37)

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I guess it would be Oliver Twist,,,I can`t get enough of that great novel..I adore that little boy :)

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teeya1777 | High School Teacher | eNoter

Posted June 10, 2010 at 9:58 PM (Answer #38)

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definitely Across the Nightingale Floor by Lian Hearn

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ewhitebeck1 | High School Teacher | eNotes Newbie

Posted June 12, 2010 at 6:39 AM (Answer #39)

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Having read the 38 posts above, I am still torn between a few titles.  For college students it would have to be Women in Love. I have treasured this book for decades and it provides many opportunities for literary analysis besides being an enthralling story.  If I had a dramatic lit class I would teach Street Scene for its historical context, snapshot of early 20th century life, and its universal lessons about human nature. Finally, if I had a group of older students I would teach Love in the Time of Cholera as a testament to longevity.

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parkerlee | Teacher | (Level 2) Educator

Posted June 12, 2010 at 11:06 AM (Answer #40)

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If you could teach any book, what would it be?

No reading list, no state standards, no objecting parents. If you could teach one book that you've not been able to teach, or that you're just interested to try out, what would it be?

I have never had the opportunity to teach 'The God of Small Things,' but I would love to have this classroom experience. This is a beautifully written book, although the lexical level makes it inaccesible to a lower level reader (that is to say, a second language learner on an intermediate level).

I hope to be able to introduce Hosseni's 'The Kite Runner' or 'A Thousand Splendid Suns' soon; they make close "runnerups" to my first choice.

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nissou | Student | eNotes Newbie

Posted June 12, 2010 at 12:05 PM (Answer #41)

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In my mind there is not only one or two books that should be thaught, because if we choose one work we injuste the others. I think that every book has some special and diffrent points and images that should be transmited to the readers, even thought is simple in its contain.

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lindamerlo | High School Teacher | eNotes Newbie

Posted June 12, 2010 at 1:50 PM (Answer #42)

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The DaVinci Code by Dan Brown.

It's accessible to even reluctant high school readers because of the fast pace and the very short, cliffhanger chapters.

It would make a great cross-curricular study with any of the following areas: French, Italian, social studies, art.

 

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kblinder | College Teacher | eNotes Newbie

Posted June 12, 2010 at 5:38 PM (Answer #43)

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I would love to teach The Remains of the Day, by Kazuo Ishiguro.  It is a wise, spare, beautiful, and quietly devastating story which lingers in the mind for many years.

The other book I would love to teach is Too Late the Phalarope, by Alan Paton.  That book, which depicts the cost of apartheid, and of silence in the face of apartheid, is filled with such lyrical prose that it is nearly poetry.  The story is haunting.  From the first lines, it grabs the reader's attention:  "Perhaps I could have saved him, with only a word, two words, out of my mouth.  Perhaps I could have saved us all.  But I never spoke them."

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staciscallan | Student , College Freshman | eNotes Newbie

Posted June 13, 2010 at 11:38 PM (Answer #44)

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If you could teach any book, what would it be?

No reading list, no state standards, no objecting parents. If you could teach one book that you've not been able to teach, or that you're just interested to try out, what would it be?

Would love to teach "To Kill a Mockingbird" by Harper Lee.

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carolkaz34 | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Adjunct Educator

Posted June 14, 2010 at 8:45 AM (Answer #47)

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If you could teach any book, what would it be?

No reading list, no state standards, no objecting parents. If you could teach one book that you've not been able to teach, or that you're just interested to try out, what would it be?

I teach sophomore English so I happily teach To Kill a Mockingbird every year and have for the past 19 years.  Every time I read and teach this book, I notice another aspect about character, theme, etc. that I did not see before and I think that is the absolute beauty of this book.  I also love that both male and female students can find something in the book to relate to, whether it be the trial, Scout's relationships and friendships, sibling rivalry, etc.

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lori68 | Teacher | eNotes Newbie

Posted June 14, 2010 at 2:25 PM (Answer #48)

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If you could teach any book, what would it be?

No reading list, no state standards, no objecting parents. If you could teach one book that you've not been able to teach, or that you're just interested to try out, what would it be?

I would teach Jane Eyre. I think that Charlotte Bronte created a work of fiction that portrays the inner workings of the mind of the lead character in such a way that even today’s students would identify with Jane’s plight.

In addition, I think that Charlotte Bronte shows Jane’s emotional development in such a realistic way that the novel should be studied as a character driven novel. It is my opinion that many current novels lack that development of character, as they rely too much on action. However, I do realize that the emphasis on character development may very well be the thing that works against today’s students taking an interest in the novel. But it is for that very reason that I think they should be introduced to it.

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ricardoe | High School Teacher | eNotes Newbie

Posted June 15, 2010 at 6:23 AM (Answer #49)

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If you could teach any book, what would it be?

No reading list, no state standards, no objecting parents. If you could teach one book that you've not been able to teach, or that you're just interested to try out, what would it be?

if I could teach one book, it would be the Bible..i am aware of separation of church and state but the Bible contains so much figurative language and parables that it could be used as a literature book..i do not think that there are any literature skills that you could not teach using it..It would also be a great book to use in a debate class.

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cadets | High School Teacher | eNotes Newbie

Posted June 15, 2010 at 7:38 AM (Answer #50)

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I would teach The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn because of the rich variety of topics that Twain serves up in each chapter is generally overwhelming for most first-time readers. The book has something for everyone. And, it is one of the staples in Literature classes around the world.

This is an excellent choice for the wide variety of things it offers  -- several terrific motifs that lend themselves to life lessons and an understanding of them, as well as complex characters who make all sorts of decisions that show them to be human and flawed.   Local color, irony, symbolism... it's all there!

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fpetrovic | College Teacher | eNotes Newbie

Posted June 15, 2010 at 5:39 PM (Answer #51)

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Definitely "A History of the World in 10 and 1/2 Chapters" and "He, She, It".

Wonderful books.

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vallance72 | Elementary School Teacher | eNotes Newbie

Posted June 16, 2010 at 9:15 AM (Answer #52)

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A difficult choice, but I loved teaching Fever 1793 by Laurie Halse Anderson this year for the first time.  This historical fiction has a myriad of extensions. Moreover, the plot rages and engages readers almost instantly!

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sensei918 | College Teacher | (Level 1) Associate Educator

Posted June 17, 2010 at 10:56 AM (Answer #53)

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I would love to teach Dune, not because it a lasting work of literature, but because it does such a good job of creating an entire universe....deals with ecology, economics, feminism, religion, biology, medicine. You name it, it's in there.

Dune IS a lasting work of literature, and as you've pointed out, it contains everything you need: big themes, larger-than-life characters, symbols, irony, an incredible closed-system setting, and varied points of view. It is one of my favorite books -in my top ten, as a matter of fact. You could create an entire course around it.

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spottedslinky | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Adjunct Educator

Posted June 17, 2010 at 11:41 AM (Answer #54)

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Winter's Tale by Mark Helprin has always been a favorite of mine and guess what? I finally got to teach it to group of students in a remote, desert-based community 80 miles from the closest grocery store. What a trip through New York and the magical world of Helprin those kids just had. Wow!

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swimma-logan | Student , College Freshman | Valedictorian

Posted June 18, 2010 at 6:42 AM (Answer #56)

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I got inspired by some of the posting on the message boards to explain why the Bible is so important to reading literature more fully. The quotes above come from an article I found on CBS news. The link to the full article is below, and it is an intriguing read. Studying aspects of the Bible for class is not about teaching religion, and it doesn't really matter if you believe in the stories or not. The Bible is one of the most important reference sources for the study of literature.

While I firmly believe in studying religious allusions, even I was shocked to read that there are over 1000 references to the Bible in Shakespeare. Think about what you may be missing if you know nothing about one of the most quoted books of all time, and also ponder the fact that up until the past 70 years or so, anyone who could read was reading this text, so it is an immense part of the literary canon.

Of course, requiring a reading of some Bible stories can be controversial, but if it offends you treat it like fiction! This is a class about fictional literature. So view all the people in the Bible as characters, just as you would view Zeus as fictional. Look for literary elements such as symbolism, theme, figurative language, irony, imagery, suspense, and others. It will enhance your knowledge about literature but also about art, history, and even pop culture!

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2006/04/16/sunday/main1501195.shtml?tag=contentMain;contentBody

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kderose | Middle School Teacher | eNotes Newbie

Posted June 18, 2010 at 10:24 AM (Answer #57)

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It would definitely be Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech.  There are lots of projects to be done with this book that include US geography, symbolism, characterization...you name it.  (See an example  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IGUDX6F519A)  Find a short read aloud video here as well.  http://www.teachertube.com/viewVideo.php?video_id=100200&title=Walk_Two_Moons_by_Sharon_Creech

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ramd | College Teacher | eNotes Newbie

Posted June 20, 2010 at 3:34 AM (Answer #58)

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I'd probably teach you the Confucian Analects and how it can change your life..

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sfwriter | College Teacher | (Level 2) Associate Educator

Posted June 21, 2010 at 12:38 PM (Answer #59)

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What a fantastic idea, Blazedale.  Thank you for posting.  I've enjoyed reading all the responses (and, I agree, Dune is a lasting work of literature, and I'd love to fast-forward 100 years and see if I am right!).  It is one of those rare, rare works of science fiction that transcends being dated by the futherance of technology because of the amazing world it creates.  Truly a great book.

Wow, I am torn between two ideas -- what one book would be best to teach students, and give them the most for their effort, or what would be the most fun for me? Hmmmmm.

Most fun for me?  Perhaps The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton for its incredibly subtle moral instruction.  This gently satiric novel has everything that I could want for criticism and lively classroom discussion.  I love the language, the situations, the characters, the denouement, and what it has to say about humanity.  For the students, I think it would reach some of them in a powerful way (not all), in showing them that there was once another way to live.  That, even with all of humanity's faults, there was a time when simplicity of moral motivation was rewarded, even if only some of the people were able to achieve it, and that things like behavior and restraint were valued as much as looks and money.  This book taught me the difference between doing right things just because you are supposed to, and doing right things because they are right, and revealing the wholeness of that, and how it affects everyone around you, even those only tangentially involved.  A close second to this book, and one that's similarin certain ways, could be Portrait of a Lady by Henry James.  I'd prefer the Wharton, but if I could only have the James I'd take it and run.

For poetry, for the just plain pure fun of it, would be Surrey's Aeneid.  It's almost never taught, even in grad school, and since it's only a translation of two Virgil's books most people don't find it all that interesting.  But it was the first blank verse published in English, and, from a poetic standpoint, I think Surrey did some incredible things with language.  If I had my way I'd probably have the class read a modern English translation of Virgil first, so they'd have the story, and then we'd approach the Surrey poetically, knowing the poem already to a certain extent.  I'd also make everybody learn some Latin for it.  Yes, I know that this is a dream world -- but what fun that would be!  Take Virgil's rather overdone masterpiece, understand it, at least superficially, in his glorious Latin, know the plot, discuss and understand the story as a cultural artifact, and then bring all this knowledge to what Surrey did, 1500 years later, in English, and the mind-bendingly important thing he did by bringing blank verse to the English language.  What fun!

For the benefit of the students, uppermost in my mind, what would I choose?  That's harder, and, while I love literature I think most students (in my sphere, anyway) would profit more by a survey of philosophy and literary criticism more than any one novel.  Students have so little exposure to either of these, even in upper-level classes, that it's hard to have a shared vocabulary with them to even start discussion and understanding.  After this survey was accomplished (and yes, this is again a dream world!) I'd want to go chronologically, starting with the Iliad and Gilgamesh, and moving slowly so that each era of literature/history/philosophy would be understood, again, at least superficially.  Then we would get to the really fun poetry of the Classical and Medieval ages.  Well -- you asked!

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rlgreen | High School Teacher | eNoter

Posted June 21, 2010 at 8:25 PM (Answer #60)

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I would teach Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man because it is the greatest book written in the 20th Century.

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eslamgewshy | Student , Undergraduate | Honors

Posted June 22, 2010 at 5:22 AM (Answer #61)

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because iam a muslim i think i would like to teach quran(the holy book)in order to make every one aware of the real islam and to show how islam is a good and perfect religion .i wish to teach islam to all the man kind

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categal | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Adjunct Educator

Posted June 22, 2010 at 5:57 PM (Answer #62)

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I would love to teach Lathe of Heaven by Ursula La Guin.  I've always been a Sci-fi junky and so I signed up for a sci-fi literature class in high school and fell in love with this book.  It was one of the first books I couldn't put down and helped be get excited about literature and finally become a teacher.

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shadowplay | eNoter

Posted June 25, 2010 at 7:31 AM (Answer #63)

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I would teach "The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao" by Junot Diaz and "Half of a Yellow Sun" by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. When I read either book I knew next to nothing about General Trujillo's Dominican Republic or the civil war that nearly tore Nigeria apart during the 1960s.

I'm assuming most American students (or Americans in general) know nothing about the histories of these countries. These two books would be a great learning experience. Each explores the ways in which politics and world events affect the very mundane and human events of individual lives. There is a lot that is new and unfamiliar in either book, but a lot that readers can certainly relate to. And also, they're both beautifully and powerfully written.

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she1818 | College Teacher | eNoter

Posted June 25, 2010 at 2:24 PM (Answer #64)

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A great book for students to read and think about is Candide by Voltaire.  As meaningful today as it was when it was written almost 300 years ago, it is satirical, which makes it immediately appealing, and the characters display all of the familiar human failings--lust, greed, and a tendency to rationalize, to name a few. The ending scene provides a bittersweet and just moral--by both Biblical and enlightenment standards.  It is funny and bitter at the same time-- just what students love in 2010.

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emcahu | Student | eNotes Newbie

Posted June 26, 2010 at 5:26 PM (Answer #65)

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I really enjoy using children's literature with students of all ages. There is a lot out there that tackles big ideas and can challenge the conventional way people look at children's lit.

Three books that I find really engaging for students of all ages (I have used them as teaching and discussion tools for students in the 2nd grade, 5th grade, middle school and high school - all with great success!!) are The Sneetches, The Butter Battle Book and The Lorax, all by Dr. Seuss.

It's especially useful to read these books and tie them into current events.

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jeff-hauge | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Associate Educator

Posted June 27, 2010 at 4:19 AM (Answer #66)

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I miss teaching As I Lay Dying but if we are going off the deep end here, I think it would be Double or Nothing by Raymond Federman. Highly experimental 1950's meta fiction. Bizarre type setting and circular plot.

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mistermicawber | College Teacher | (Level 2) Adjunct Educator

Posted June 27, 2010 at 3:25 PM (Answer #67)

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A very interesting list indeed–-a lot of great literature, a lot of new literature that I haven't even met.  Many seem to want to teach for the content.  I would rather teach more for the language, I think (but that is probably because I teach EFL).

What I wish dearly is that my students were up to Ulysses.  I have spent an inordinate amount of time on it myself and would love to bounce it off them.  They are still at the Old Man and the Sea level, however (not that I don't enjoy that gem).

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jbiersach | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Adjunct Educator

Posted June 29, 2010 at 8:00 AM (Answer #68)

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I am lucky.  I have complete freedom to design my own courses and select my own texts.  Based on my experience with this question,  here is my two part answer:

Best book according to my students:

Twain, ADVENTURES OF HUCKLEBERRY FINN

The novel that I most enjoy re-reading and teaching:

DeLillo, WHITE NOISE.

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abja69 | High School Teacher | eNotes Newbie

Posted June 30, 2010 at 7:28 AM (Answer #69)

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I would love to teach Richard Bach's Jonathan Livingston Seagull. It's really an inspiring read for the ones who aspire but lack the courage to take a risk and achieve their goals, those who fail to listen to their thoughts and refuses to spread their wings to fly, and also to those who wish to celebrate the song of freedom.

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ktmagalia | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Assistant Educator

Posted July 1, 2010 at 9:55 AM (Answer #70)

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I just read Mudbound by Hillary Jordan.  This would be a great text for older readers.

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akannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted July 4, 2010 at 8:03 AM (Answer #71)

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If I were able to presume or fiat the student interest would either be with me or not a factor, Flabuert's Madame Bovary would be a read and a half.  I would spend each class period deconstructing style, content, theme, intellectual property, and characterization.  I wouldn't use quizzes to assess the nightly reading, but rather teach it in a dialogue format.  I think that being able to teach such a book in such an open and transparent manner would be awesome.  Another one I would love to teach would have to be Rushdie's Midnight's Children.  In teaching this one, I would dovetail my discussion of the text with Indian History.  Great time with that one, as well.

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tehillim | Student , Undergraduate | eNoter

Posted July 5, 2010 at 8:23 AM (Answer #72)

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# 49 & 56

I agree The choice content would be the Bible. But as far as teaching it I would teach the Cosmology of Moses in an indepth research into the language of the Paleo-Hebrew. The paleo-hebrew was not a written laguage truly but was signs and gestures along with vocal interpretations. The actual characters have dual meanings for interpretations. Then I would teach the cultural aspect from a historic/archeological perspective into the Ketuvim and the Neviim. These individual works do need to be studied for their rich content of historical value on two parts, one as Literature of the Ancient Hebrews and second as the prophecies of the Sages of The Ancients.

Its not just The Bible that i wish to teach, it is the ancient society that was involved with producing the most highly used text in history. What was their frame of mind and what is it that brought them to the revelations that inspired the world. This is what i would aim at teaching.

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frizzyperm | College Teacher | Valedictorian

Posted July 7, 2010 at 10:45 AM (Answer #73)

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I guess if you are going to teach the bible, then in order not to cruelly indoctrinate children it would be fun and enlightening to really carefully take then through Why I Am Not a Christian by the British philosopher Bertrand Russell hailed by The Independent as "devastating in its use of cold logic", and listed in the New York Public Library's list of the most influential books of the 20th century.

After all, smothering innocent children with the dogma of a single religion and telling them it is absolutely true would not only be cruel but also etremely immoral. So Bertie's great book would make a nice balance.

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mmmbarkley | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Adjunct Educator

Posted July 9, 2010 at 8:54 AM (Answer #74)

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A Prayer for Owen Meany or The World According to Garp for fiction and Me Talk Pretty One Day (perhaps for AP Comp. essay analysis).  Would definitely reserve both these books for older students of the highest thinking variety.

I agree! I love John Irving.

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mmmbarkley | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Adjunct Educator

Posted July 9, 2010 at 8:56 AM (Answer #75)

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I would have to choose Hunger Games and Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins. It would be wonderful to discuss comparisons to history and politics.

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klclark525 | Middle School Teacher | eNotes Newbie

Posted July 12, 2010 at 2:57 AM (Answer #76)

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I teach 6th grade.  My main concern is to teach something that reaches all my students (high and low readers, male and female, and gets to understand how a book can open the world to them/speak to them about things they don't get in their everyday necessarily.  We really focus on theme and character analysis for our standards.)

So, I have taught Outsiders by SE Hinton.  This I've actually had to defend to a book review board due to its content, but I was able to show how I could weave in teaching so many important life lessons.  We delve into prejudice/stereotyping, "staying gold" and what that means, effects of smoking and drinking...and much more.  Also, we study the character development SE Hinton has for each charcter.  Because there are so many characters, students get to chose their favorite to analyze at the end of the novel.  Every year, I have students who walk in my 6th grade class hating to read and by the end of this book want to read more of SE Hinton's novels.

I also love Hatchet by Gary Paulsen (the issue of divorce and survival draw in my students), Westing Game by Ellen Raskin (I use this for my high groups-the clues are amazingly woven in), and Define Normal by Julie Anne Peters (again the topic of stereotyping as well as coping with mental health problems).

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hollam79 | Elementary School Teacher | eNotes Newbie

Posted July 12, 2010 at 8:43 PM (Answer #77)

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The Phantom Tollbooth! I never read it while growing up, but when I taught 5th grade, we read it for our novel reading groups.  It is not a book that looks all that interesting, but it was so much fun to read. I think it's a great book to read especially as a wrap up to a Grammar or Language Arts unit... the book touches upon a various amount of reading skills. Definitely recommend reading it before you teach with it, though!

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hthr1974 | Middle School Teacher | eNotes Newbie

Posted July 13, 2010 at 3:26 AM (Answer #78)

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If I could teach a book I haven't yet been able to teach it would be "Go Ask Alice" because I think that book honestly depicts drug use and the way it oozes into and then takes over a life.

I do teach "The 7 Habits of Successful Teenagers" to my middle school aged kids every year.  It is extremely rewarding for me to see the little lights flicker then pop on above their heads, over and over.  I would suggested it to anyone working with middle school or above.

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kellysmom | High School Teacher | eNoter

Posted July 13, 2010 at 10:06 AM (Answer #79)

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If you could teach any book, what would it be?

No reading list, no state standards, no objecting parents. If you could teach one book that you've not been able to teach, or that you're just interested to try out, what would it be?

I have taught My Sister's Keeper for a few years and I would like to add The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks to pair with it.  This would add a deeper level to the understanding of why stem cell work is so important.

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gram | Elementary School Teacher | eNoter

Posted July 15, 2010 at 1:34 AM (Answer #80)

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If you could teach any book, what would it be?

No reading list, no state standards, no objecting parents. If you could teach one book that you've not been able to teach, or that you're just interested to try out, what would it be?

  world history    american history   and the bible

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lmmayo1 | High School Teacher | eNotes Newbie

Posted July 16, 2010 at 10:14 AM (Answer #81)

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Joseph Campbell's "The Power of Myth" would be my dream book to teach. It's a book that changed my life - along with his "Hero with a Thousand Faces". I would embrace the opportunity to teach kids such works of enlightenment.

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widemanthompson | Elementary School Teacher | eNotes Newbie

Posted July 17, 2010 at 10:51 AM (Answer #83)

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I think that Shakespeare teaches us what it means to be human and helps us to learn about life through beautiful literature but it seems that if the object is match the needs and interests of the average student to learn about life, I would choose something like Tuesdays With Mory.

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tomrusso | Student , Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted July 18, 2010 at 4:25 PM (Answer #84)

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If I were a teacher, I'd like to have my students read and study Anna Karenina, by Leo Tolstoy. It's just a beautiful example of rich, textured literature in addition to an avenue for Tolstoy's thoughts on many subjects.

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psjenkins | Elementary School Teacher | eNoter

Posted July 18, 2010 at 7:29 PM (Answer #85)

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I would like my students to study Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing by Judy Blume. I would like to for them to study the entire series of books. This author is rich with adjectives, humor, and details. It gives opportunities for a host of writing assignments and of character analysis.

 

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bethannclark10109 | Teacher | eNotes Newbie

Posted July 19, 2010 at 5:16 AM (Answer #86)

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If I could teach any book to any group of students, I would love to teach Where the Red Fern Grows.  This book is replete with valuable lessons about love, life & death, family, committment, perserverance, morals, and obedience.  I think middle school-aged students can really relate to the experiences and emotions of the main character.  It speaks volumes about the power of God in our lives, and the hope we can have in Him and how much He loves us.

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pattige | College Teacher | eNotes Newbie

Posted July 19, 2010 at 5:42 AM (Answer #87)

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First of all, I'd love to be in a book group with everyone that has posted so far. A book that I would love to create a lesson plan around is An Improbable Future by Alice Hoffman. The premise is about a girl that is born on a certain date that ensures that she will receive certain gifts. However, Hoffman explores the idea that perhaps the gift that is most prominent to others may not be the greatest gift we have been given. This would be a great topic for discussion for middle school and high school aged students.

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teacher770 | Middle School Teacher | eNotes Newbie

Posted July 20, 2010 at 6:48 PM (Answer #91)

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I love to teach "A Christmas Carol" by Charles Dickens.  Using this book with my 7th grade students exposes them to the world of 19th century England.  Students compare the unjustices of the world portrayed by the author and the modern world.  The ability to critically evaluate and synthesize in this way develops methods of thinking that are skills useful in everyday living.

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gram | Elementary School Teacher | eNoter

Posted July 21, 2010 at 6:15 PM (Answer #92)

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History , Social Studies

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sukatx | Elementary School Teacher | eNotes Newbie

Posted July 22, 2010 at 12:25 PM (Answer #93)

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This might sound a little tacky, but heck, I'm an elementary school teacher and our kids love tacky.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

The classic battle between good and evil.  All the interesting grammer and made up words.  The theme of friendship.  Foreshadowing.  Courage.

Sigh...I can only imagine the in-depth discussions I could have with students on these topics with this novel as a guide.  But, alas.  Some parents feel it is evil (I never will understand that) and it will therefore never be part of my district's curriculum.


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gram | Elementary School Teacher | eNoter

Posted July 22, 2010 at 4:37 PM (Answer #94)

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I would like to teach the Bible. This book does not have to be taught as a religion but as a story of history. Most Texas public schools let students take Bible as an elective.Students should have the opportunity to learn about this marvelous subject.

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MaudlinStreet | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Senior Educator

Posted July 22, 2010 at 11:41 PM (Answer #95)

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In reply to #17, absolutely American Gods! In fact, since we're dreaming here, Neil Gaiman's The Sandman comic series would be incredible to study with a class. I've had some students read it outside of school and they absolutely loved it. I'd also love to teach Harlan Ellison. His short stories are unparalleled, and by the time students reach the 12th grade, they often have the emotional maturity to delve into the nuances of the texts.

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engtchr5 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Associate Educator

Posted July 25, 2010 at 10:44 AM (Answer #96)

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It's been said, but it bears repeating: To Kill a Mockingbird is by far the best novel I've ever taught. It reached my students on a real and personal level, and the lessons to be extracted from it are applicable throughout time. It is a treasure and a deeply emotional experience all rolled into one. I've never had a student who said that they got nothing out of it. Everyone walks away with something a little different.

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rajashreeanand | High School Teacher | eNoter

Posted July 26, 2010 at 3:50 AM (Answer #97)

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It would be Tamas by Bhisham Sahni. The novel is about the effect of the Indian partition on simple, innocent lives. It is a subtle yet candid eye-opener to secondary school students.

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gram | Elementary School Teacher | eNoter

Posted July 26, 2010 at 12:13 PM (Answer #98)

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Two great types of religion in Europe me themselves a manifest Luther had molded the one type, Calvin had molded the other. Luther was for detaining mediaeval doctrine the worship o f many things; Calvin was for living the life that the Bible was based on. He would teach conformity, faith and teach disciples according to the principals taught in the Bible.

Luther prevailed widely in North Germany and Scandinavia. But few of these regions craved a more thoroughgoing reform The French, Dutch and south Germans were the followers.

 

 

 

The light of nature and the works of creation manifest the goodness, wisdon and power of God. Man is to follow the will of God unto salvation. All things in scripture are not alike plain in themselves or alike clear to all these things are necessary to be known, believed and absorbed

  All the books of the bible from Genesis of the Old Testament to Revelation of the New Testament are to be used for the rules of faith and life

The Holy Scripture ought to be believed and obeyed wholly on God for his word.

The Old Testament in Hebrew the native language of the people of God and the New Testament in Greek which was spoken in the time of the writing of the Bible was inspired by God. For his care and providence keeps pure in all ages.

 

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tiffinyjackson | High School Teacher | eNoter

Posted July 27, 2010 at 5:57 PM (Answer #99)

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I agree with Amy that The Poisonwood Bible is one I would love to teach. Also, The Great Gatsby along with some scenes from the Mad Men series. It is very interesting to think about whether men in America really have the chance to remake themselves.

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kristenfusaro | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Assistant Educator

Posted July 28, 2010 at 5:01 PM (Answer #100)

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I feel so lucky reading this question because my all-time, overall favorite book to teach is Macbeth by Shakespeare. Macbeth just encompasses so many literary devices and techniques, along with dark, pervading themes that attract students of all ages. It possesses the question of the human condition; along with the change of ourselves when broached with power; the challenges of marriage, womanhood, friendship; the definition of a hero; the question of fate versus self-fulfilling prophecy; the supernatural. I could absolutely keep gushing about Macbethi! Plus, it is so easy to teach in that you can read the text in class, assuring that students are actually transacting with the literature; you can easily leave out unnecessary information, as the acts are succint. Many thematic group activities can be generated from the literature, along with vocabulary and language structure.

I'm simply in love with Macbeth!

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vonn | Student , Undergraduate | Honors

Posted July 28, 2010 at 9:33 PM (Answer #101)

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I will teach the Pilgrim's Progress of John Bunyan.Because of the following reasons:

a. It is an allegorical novel that will teach students Christian/moral values;

b. The protagonist's journey shows about life-its trials and temptations;

c. The geographical location of the journey reflects on the real world;

d. It can be analyzed in four literary theories: mimetic, expressive, objective and pragmatic;

e. It has movie adaptations that will help you  in teaching the students in a more easy way.

These are the other books that I loved to teach. I think these will help you to arrive a good decision

1.Diary of a Young Girl Anne Frank

2.Adventures of Sherlock Homes Arthur Conan Doyle

3. A Tale of Two Cities Charles Dickens

4.Little Women Louisa May Alcot

5. Silas Marner George Eliot

6. The Great Gatsby F. Scott Fitzgerald

7. The Scarlet Letter Nathaniel Hawthorne

8. The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe C.S. Lewis

9. To Kill a Mockingbird Harper Lee

10. All Creatures Great and Small James Herriot

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lilywreck | High School Teacher | Honors

Posted August 1, 2010 at 8:12 AM (Answer #105)

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If you could teach any book, what would it be?

No reading list, no state standards, no objecting parents. If you could teach one book that you've not been able to teach, or that you're just interested to try out, what would it be?

I would teach The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini a great fictional example of what Afghanistan's last days where like before the Russians moved into the country and took over the country's plight. The story also highlights the country's fall. I hope to finally get the opportunity to use this novel this upcoming school year.

I would also love to teach Jerzey Kosinski's The Painted Bird as the novel is an outstanding review of the Holocaust as the story develops  from a savage perspective.

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crmhaske | College Teacher | (Level 3) Associate Educator

Posted August 1, 2010 at 12:45 PM (Answer #106)

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The Dispssessed by Ursula K. Le Guin

Almost every word written in that book is quotable.  It's a beautiful piece on what anarchism could look like, and the dangers of bureaucracy.  It would be a wonderful choice book for students to read in many different classes: economics (discussions on capitalism), philosophy (discussions on anarchism), literature (discussions on science fiction), and psychology (discussions on a whole plethora of things from this book).  I just love it, I could read it over, and over, and over again and discover something new about it each time.

My favourite quote:

"Those who build walls are their own prisoners. I'm going to go fulfil my proper function in the social organism. I'm going to go and unbuild walls."

Shevek from Ursula Le Guin's The Dispossessed

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ajmchugh | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Associate Educator

Posted August 3, 2010 at 9:40 AM (Answer #107)

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I'd absolutely love to teach Joyce's Ulysses, as it's one of the most wonderfully-constructed novels I've ever read.  I spent an entire semester on it in college, and I wrote my Capstone paper on Joyce's incorporation of Hamlet into Ulysses.  Unfortunately, though, I teach at the high school level and haven't had an opportunity to study it since college.  I have, though, used VERY brief excerpts from it in my Honors classes--mostly to teach concepts like allusion, stream of consciousness, etc.  For now, that's enough for me to get my Ulysses fix!  Great question! 

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scbannerman | eNotes Newbie

Posted August 5, 2010 at 8:06 AM (Answer #108)

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Something large and intimidating, such as Moby Dick or The Brothers Karamazov. There is something exciting and liberating when you discover the soft, approachable side of a work that has earned the reputation of being tedious and having "too many big words". I'd love to take something like that-- break it down, throw it lots of visuals, and,one bite at a time, find what is entertaining about it and help students better appreciate it!

I think War and Peace has about 365 chapters, I could teach a year-long class, everday with no summer break! I'm sure kids would fight over that class. ;)

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brooke57 | eNotes Newbie

Posted August 5, 2010 at 11:36 AM (Answer #109)

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If you could teach any book, what would it be?

No reading list, no state standards, no objecting parents. If you could teach one book that you've not been able to teach, or that you're just interested to try out, what would it be?

Middlemarch

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ktm2433 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Adjunct Educator

Posted August 5, 2010 at 2:27 PM (Answer #110)

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Oh my God! If only I had unlimited funds.  What a fantasy.  I would be so happy!  I would teach The Help by Kathryn Stockett.  No, it isn't a classic, but it deserves to become one some day.  If you haven't read it, it deals with racism, classism, and many other societal issues.  It also draws the reader in and caputures them, which is what many of the novels available to these kids do not do.  When I was reading it, I never wanted it to end.

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diarie | Student , Grade 10 | eNoter

Posted August 7, 2010 at 11:34 PM (Answer #111)

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Romeo and Juliet by Shakespeare, because I personally feel that it is the story that could touch the readers heart to the deepest.

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centrist | College Teacher | eNotes Newbie

Posted August 9, 2010 at 5:35 AM (Answer #112)

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My favourite book to teach would be Jane Austen's Pride&Prejudice, but any of austen's novels is a delight to teach.

Austen’s social comedies, with their focus on the marriage plot; keen-eyed irony and alleged conformity to social norms, label her work as delightful but old-fashioned, moralising and conservative.  I like to show students that critics are wrong when they accuse her of of lacking in authorial boldness and depth.  i encourage my students to argue against a reductive perception of Austen’s achievement and to find the full scope of human behaviour, its needs, desires, tricks, and self-delusions in her novels.

 

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kmcappello | (Level 1) Assistant Educator

Posted August 10, 2010 at 2:18 PM (Answer #113)

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What a great topic, and what an interesting, varied list of books!  I like the mix of both classic, canonical works and contemporary "soon-to-be-classics" and think that pairing the two is a great way to make the older works more relevant.  I loved Sophie's World by Jostein Gaardner, and think it would be great in both a literature and an introduction to philosophy class.  It would also be interesting to read Jonathan Franzen's The Corrections in conjunction with Dickens--there's something very sweeping and Dickensian about Franzen's novel.

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celtic1108 | College Teacher | (Level 2) Adjunct Educator

Posted August 11, 2010 at 5:54 PM (Answer #114)

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Without a doubt, A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess. There is just so much in this book. I have planned this class out in my head so many times. Here is the daily discussion topics for the class:

  1. Discuss the structure of the novel--it is a story of growth (from boy to man) and there are 21 chapters. Coincidence? I think not!
  2. Discuss the brainwashing aspects of the language--"There was me, that is Alex, and my three droogs, that is Pete, Georgie, and Dim, and we sat in the Korova Milkbar trying to make up our rassoodocks what to do with the evening. The Korova milkbar sold milk-plus, milk plus vellocet or synthemesc or drencrom, which is what we were drinking. This would sharpen you up and make you ready for a bit of the old ultra-violence."--After a while, this all makes sense!
  3. Issues with the violent images.
  4. Alex's "cure"--moral implications of taking away one's right to think for oneself.
  5. Comparing Kubrick's film to the novel.
  6. Discuss the ending--why did the original American publication not have the final chapter? How is the book different without it?
  7. What is Burgesses' overall message with the novel?
  8. What was Burgesses' inspiration?
  9. What does the title mean?

All of these questions would take days to fully examine! I love this novel.

The only other book that I could spend forever teaching is Ulysses by James Joyce. I could spend a year just talking about the first epic journey!

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celtic1108 | College Teacher | (Level 2) Adjunct Educator

Posted August 11, 2010 at 6:05 PM (Answer #115)

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I would love to teach Dune, not because it a lasting work of literature, but because it does such a good job of creating an entire universe....deals with ecology, economics, feminism, religion, biology, medicine. You name it, it's in there.

Dune IS a lasting work of literature, and as you've pointed out, it contains everything you need: big themes, larger-than-life characters, symbols, irony, an incredible closed-system setting, and varied points of view. It is one of my favorite books -in my top ten, as a matter of fact. You could create an entire course around it.

I love Dune! I think that it is the most underrated Science Fiction Novel around. I would teach HP Lovecraft--all of his works! Simply because Lovecraft is underrated and underrepresented in the sci-fi horror genre.

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magec5 | Elementary School Teacher | eNotes Newbie

Posted August 13, 2010 at 4:12 PM (Answer #116)

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I have been tutoring kids in foster care all summer.  I would MOST DEFINITELY teach kids the books they should all write.  Everyone has a story.  Write, write, write, so you can tell yours one day.  We are all a gift to this world, and we all have a story that can touch someone.

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mhadous | Student , Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted August 16, 2010 at 8:31 AM (Answer #117)

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I would teach Night by Elie Fiezel.  This book is about his surviving of the Holocaust.  It is graphic, deep and no-holds barred...perfect to reflect upon in an European English or History class.  I have read it several times and am certain that students of an older age (16-18) would enjoy reading and discussing it.

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kalliboss | College Teacher | eNotes Newbie

Posted August 23, 2010 at 8:48 AM (Answer #118)

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A Prayer for Owen Meany or The World According to Garp for fiction and Me Talk Pretty One Day (perhaps for AP Comp. essay analysis).  Would definitely reserve both these books for older students of the highest thinking variety.

i shall teach History to students since its my favourite subject of all times any book on history can be taught

 

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thanhthao | College Teacher | eNoter

Posted August 24, 2010 at 4:43 AM (Answer #119)

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Choosing a good textbook (or related materials) is not an easy job. However, it's important for teachers to select good materials.

According to Albert Newton Raub, a good textbook ensures these following characteristics:

Characteristics of a good textbook

-        It should be Logically Arranged: each fact or principle should be connected to the previous knowledge. Furthermore, textbooks should be from personal to general topics and what is in the textbooks should be closely connected. Some textbooks chosen in some schools are not really logical in the way units arranged. Some textbooks, each unit is separately divided into small fragmentary parts. Albert Newton Raub states that “A logically-arranged textbook induces logical modes of thought”.

-        A Textbook should be Clear: the language should be clear in order not to confuse the students.

-        to be cont

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thanhthao | College Teacher | eNoter

Posted August 24, 2010 at 4:44 AM (Answer #120)

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......(cont)

A Textbook should be Interesting: A good textbook should be made interesting by its arrangement and the contents as well. The principles and facts should be illustrated by examples, pictures, mind maps and the like. These attract students’ attention, helping them remember longer and logically systematize their knowledge. In fact, the more attractive the comprehensible input exposes, the more the intake occurs.

-        A Textbook should be Brief: A good textbook should not too detail but “the best books always leave much for the teacher to add or for the learner to find out for himself”. Obviously, “no textbooks can cover all of the ground” (Albert Newton Raub) and there are no textbooks suitable for all skills. Therefore, in order to give comprehensible inputs, teachers must supplement and add to the instruction related to the topics.

-        to be cont...

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thanhthao | College Teacher | eNoter

Posted August 24, 2010 at 4:44 AM (Answer #121)

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.....cont

The Style of a Textbook should be a Model: Kenji Kitao (1997) suggests that a good textbook should have “correct, natural, recent and standard English”. The language must be clear enough for comprehension.

-        The Textbook must be Adapted to the Capacity of the Student: the style, language as well as the matter presented must be adapted to the capacity of certain class, certain objects.

-        A Textbook should be Attractive in Appearance: the more attractive the inputs are, the better the information flows into students’ minds. A good textbook should be in “good paper, attractive illustrations, and good-sized, clear type”.

Albert Newton Raub (2009). School Management. School Aids (p.49-56)

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swimma-logan | Student , College Freshman | Valedictorian

Posted August 24, 2010 at 7:29 AM (Answer #122)

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Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness is probably one of the most brilliant works ever. Also, one of the most helpful on the AP English Literature & Composition Exam.

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swimma-logan | Student , College Freshman | Valedictorian

Posted August 24, 2010 at 7:33 AM (Answer #123)

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If I were able to presume or fiat the student interest would either be with me or not a factor, Flabuert's Madame Bovary would be a read and a half.  I would spend each class period deconstructing style, content, theme, intellectual property, and characterization.  I wouldn't use quizzes to assess the nightly reading, but rather teach it in a dialogue format.  I think that being able to teach such a book in such an open and transparent manner would be awesome.  Another one I would love to teach would have to be Rushdie's Midnight's Children.  In teaching this one, I would dovetail my discussion of the text with Indian History.  Great time with that one, as well.

I want to read Madame Bovary so badly!

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swimma-logan | Student , College Freshman | Valedictorian

Posted August 24, 2010 at 7:38 AM (Answer #124)

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Romeo and Juliet by Shakespeare, because I personally feel that it is the story that could touch the readers heart to the deepest.

That is taught in most schools freshman english course

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picturesque | Student , Undergraduate | Valedictorian

Posted August 26, 2010 at 4:35 AM (Answer #125)

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If i could teach any book and the only book which deserves to be taught to every human being is the Holy Quran.

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picturesque | Student , Undergraduate | Valedictorian

Posted August 27, 2010 at 3:52 AM (Answer #126)

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ONE special feature that distinguishes the Quran from all other Scriptures is that it deals adequately with all problems arising within the sphere of religion, and by stressing the function of religion it directs attention to its proper sphere and the benefits that may be derived from it. A reader of the Old and the New Testaments or of the Vedas or of the Zend-Avesta is left with the impression that somebody appearing at an intermediate stage in the middle of a long drawn-out phenomenon of nature had set out to describe those stages of it of which he had been a witness. That is not the case with theQuran. It expounds the philosophy of creation and all matters connected there with. It explains why God created the universe and the object of man's creation and the means to be adopted for the achievement of that object. It sheds light on the nature of the Godhead and Its attributes and the manner in which those attributes find their manifestation. In connection with the object of man's creation it expounds the laws on which the running of the universe is based. It points out that for the physical development and evolution of man God has put into force the laws of nature which regulate the physical and mental conditions of man and that one group of angels is entrusted with the enforcement of these laws. For the development and enlightenment of the human soul God has revealed the Law of Shari'at (i.e., Sacred Law) through His Prophets.

 

 

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picturesque | Student , Undergraduate | Valedictorian

Posted August 27, 2010 at 4:03 AM (Answer #127)

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ONE special feature that distinguishes the Quran from all other Scriptures is that it deals adequately with all problems arising within the sphere of religion, and by stressing the function of religion it directs attention to its proper sphere and the benefits that may be derived from it. A reader of the Old and the New Testaments or of the Vedas or of the Zend-Avesta is left with the impression that somebody appearing at an intermediate stage in the middle of a long drawn-out phenomenon of nature had set out to describe those stages of it of which he had been a witness. That is not the case with theQuran. It expounds the philosophy of creation and all matters connected there with. It explains why God created the universe and the object of man's creation and the means to be adopted for the achievement of that object. It sheds light on the nature of the Godhead and Its attributes and the manner in which those attributes find their manifestation. In connection with the object of man's creation it expounds the laws on which the running of the universe is based. It points out that for the physical development and evolution of man God has put into force the laws of nature which regulate the physical and mental conditions of man and that one group of angels is entrusted with the enforcement of these laws. For the development and enlightenment of the human soul God has revealed the Law of Shari'at (i.e., Sacred Law) through His Prophets.

 

 

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hanooch | Student , Undergraduate | eNoter

Posted August 28, 2010 at 5:18 AM (Answer #128)

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The DaVinci Code by Dan Brown.

It's accessible to even reluctant high school readers because of the fast pace and the very short, cliffhanger chapters.

It would make a great cross-curricular study with any of the following areas: French, Italian, social studies, art.

 

I might not be a teacher, but I think that The DaVinci Code would be a great book to read in class. Even Angels and Demons and The Lost Symbol seem to be excellent choices to me.

Honestly I don't know if the content of these books might teach the students much about the english language itself; but they do contain alot of general information, trivia, historical and scientific information which I really enjoyed while reading these books. As they also contain fast paced action, students would learn the information in the books without realizing it.

I remember lending The Lost Symbol to my teacher when we were studying transcendentalism last year as I though that it is a very transcendental novel. So it might actually be worthy of classroom study.

I wouldve loved reading these books in class, they could be linked to almost any class from the wide variety of information in them.

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redscar | Student , Undergraduate | Salutatorian

Posted August 28, 2010 at 9:24 AM (Answer #129)

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Bram Stoker's Dracula. because that is the only book,I've seriously read with my full concentration. While i was reading that book,i almost left living! forgetting about eating,drinking,sleeping,talking to anyone,i'd just read n kept reading.I could imagine and actually see everything happening in front of me! so i can teach only this book.

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picturesque | Student , Undergraduate | Valedictorian

Posted August 28, 2010 at 8:48 PM (Answer #130)

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Holy Quran is the best ever book of the World. The only word of God.

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kristenfusaro | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Assistant Educator

Posted August 30, 2010 at 7:28 PM (Answer #131)

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Holy Quran is the best ever book of the World. The only word of God.

I think this may be a bit narrow in thinking. All books of religion are important to respect and understand, for they all approach the world with the hope and intention of guiding people into a moral life.

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jtullier | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Adjunct Educator

Posted September 4, 2010 at 6:31 PM (Answer #133)

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I am a fan of post-modern literature.  For that reason alone, I would love to have my American literature honors class study House of Sand and Fog by Andre Dubus III.  The novel has so much to offer -- cultural misconceptions, the race for the American Dream, male-female relationships -- all ending in a zero -- noboby wins the American Dream.  One could serve a dozen meals with all the meat and potatoes in the novel

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dscarroll1963 | Middle School Teacher | eNotes Newbie

Posted September 5, 2010 at 5:07 PM (Answer #134)

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To Kill a Mocking Bird...one of my all-time favorites.

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prajnana | College Teacher | Honors

Posted September 6, 2010 at 6:48 AM (Answer #135)

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That one book I would love to teach will be the Bhagavad Gita. The Gita is an open dialogue between Krishna and Arjuna. Apart from the philosophy and psychology it explains on human existence, the Gita represents the goals and means of learning and understanding. It helps you to understand yourself better, whether you are a teacher or a student. And, to me the best teaching happens when we progress in the path of understanding oneself.

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whytaylor | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Adjunct Educator

Posted September 10, 2010 at 6:11 PM (Answer #137)

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I am lucky and get to teach the majority of books that I want to.  One year though I had the greatest experience when I taught a group of mostly girls Science Fiction.  We read The Handmaid's Tale and we had the most amazing discussions about what it means to be a woman in today's world.  It was a fluke that it was all girls, and that their parents were quite liberal and open minded.  I still can't believe how lucky I was. 

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angelaharris1300 | eNotes Newbie

Posted September 12, 2010 at 5:13 AM (Answer #138)

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If you could teach any book, what would it be?

No reading list, no state standards, no objecting parents. If you could teach one book that you've not been able to teach, or that you're just interested to try out, what would it be?

  One of my favorite books to teach is To Kill a Mockingbird.  However, since you say one that I have not been able to teach, I will say the book of Revelation from the Bible.  This book of the Bible contains so many symbols and has been studied much down through the ages.  I would love to hear how students would interpret the passages.  Also, I am sure this would promote much discussion of religion that poses some difficulty in the public classroom.

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joe30pl | College Teacher | (Level 2) Adjunct Educator

Posted September 13, 2010 at 4:02 PM (Answer #139)

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I would to teach any number of books mentioned in this thread. I would love to focus on Mark Twain's lter work, as well as Huck Finn.

Personally, I would love to teach Tolkien and Lewis together.

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redhd975 | Elementary School Teacher | eNotes Newbie

Posted September 18, 2010 at 3:58 AM (Answer #140)

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I think this is an excellent question.  I see To Kill a Mockingbird listed and I have to say it is one of my all time favorites.  Another book I would love to teach is Ender's Game.  Orson Scott Card does a magnificent job in approaching some major themes in that book and since it is science fiction it would grab the attention of students.  As an elementary teacher, I would also like to add Number the Stars and Love that Dog.

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ubaidkhan | Student , Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted September 19, 2010 at 11:18 PM (Answer #141)

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Hypercet Blood Pressure Formula (5334)

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tralalalal | Student , Grade 10 | eNoter

Posted September 26, 2010 at 5:49 AM (Answer #143)

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The Odyssey by Homer

 

Because it is all about greek mythology

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marie2014 | Student , Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

Posted October 1, 2010 at 9:38 AM (Answer #144)

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I would Teach the Twilight Saga books lol

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pruhouser | eNoter

Posted October 6, 2010 at 11:25 AM (Answer #145)

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I would choose to teach To Kill a Mockingbird in conjunction with another work entitled A Patch of Blue.  Though set in different time periods, both works contain key elements related to racial tension and prejudice.  In addition to race-related concerns and controversies, A Patch of Blue also deals with other social ills similar to those found in To Kill a Mockingbird, such as poverty, ignorance, dysfunction and abuse.  More importantly, however, both works are study in courage, as individuals defy societal norms in an effort to quash the perpetuation of negative paradigms.  Furthermore, the exploration of the intricacies of human nature, poignant themes, concepts and pathos presented in these works continue to be quite relevant and applicable even in today’s society.

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jugneeta | Elementary School Teacher | eNotes Newbie

Posted October 8, 2010 at 10:05 PM (Answer #146)

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If  I were to teach a book, it would be "An Equal Music' by Vikram Seth. 'An Equal Music' is an intimate, internalized story on love and music. An evocative painting of the world of chamber music with instruments singing to one another, the lives of virtuoso musicians, the struggles  of a quartet for reviews and recordings, of love found-lost-found- and lost again, of mindsets to music as a career. But above all it a book about the passion for music, swathed in musical references to Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert  and many more composers of string quartets , set against the musical capitals of Europe - London, Vienna and Venice.

A myriad themes run parallel, tangential and circilar through the book. Love in all its hues is the all encompassing theme.

The novel opens on a melancholic strain and the reader is introduced to Michael Holmes the protagonist, who is the narrator, of the story. The world of the book is subtly and artfully distorted, as the disclosure of the narrator cannot be relied upon as he seems to be troubled. He is prone to breakdowns and leads an emotionally stunted life like a latter day T.S Eliots's -  'Prufrock'

The writer brilliantly weaves stories of his characters through their reactions, and performances of musical compositions like - 'Beethoven's piano trio' opus 1 number 3 , the 'Art of Fugue' and Schubert's trout Quintet and many others.

A delightful read and study of the world of sound and  soundlessness knit together by love.

 

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sharonelin | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Adjunct Educator

Posted October 9, 2010 at 5:14 PM (Answer #147)

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If you could teach any book, what would it be?

No reading list, no state standards, no objecting parents. If you could teach one book that you've not been able to teach, or that you're just interested to try out, what would it be?

I like many of the books listed by other writers posting here in the responses.

One of my personal favorites is one that grabbed my attention when I was in high school:  Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.  It was a powerful and engaging book because of its unique plot development using time travel and its biting twist of humor and tragedy -- not to mention its personal/historical treatment of the Dresden bombing during WWII.

My dream is to conduct simultaneous book-studies online, giving students a choice of two themes: anti-war or race relations.

The anti-war strand would include:

  1. WWI: All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque
  2. WWII: Slaughterhouse-Five by Vonnegut
  3. Vietnam: The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien

The race relations strand would include:

  1. Jim Crow era: To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
  2. Pre-Civil Rights: Black Like Me by John Howard Griffin
  3. Emerging Civil Rights: The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd
  4. Emerging Civil Rights: The Help by Kathryn Stockett

In addition to the required list of reading above, each strand would also include a long list of recommended reading to allow students to extend their exploration of the topics -- and many cross-curricular activities focusing on current historic events related to the book in study.

But... that's my dream.  I'm locked into a state-mandated curriculum so cannot build my own lesson strands!

 

 

 

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kamiegoldstein | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Adjunct Educator

Posted October 11, 2010 at 5:08 PM (Answer #148)

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I would find teaching The Painted Bird, by Jerzy Kosinski, a very valuable experience. I have taught much Holocaust literature and have traveled to Israel to study the Holocaust with the ADL. Kosinski's novel is a brutal story that hits hard and describes the horrors of war and the triumph of survival in a way that reverberates with readers. This novel is one that I carry with me as a read more about the Holocaust. The very violent moments are shocking but the symbolism is tangible. I have never taught this book because I have never been able to get it approved by school officials.

 

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wmagley | High School Teacher | Honors

Posted October 14, 2010 at 11:41 AM (Answer #149)

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If you could teach any book, what would it be?

No reading list, no state standards, no objecting parents. If you could teach one book that you've not been able to teach, or that you're just interested to try out, what would it be?

  I would teach Titus Andronicus by William Shakespeare.  This play is Shakespeare's bloodiest and most violent play; I think the boys, especially, in my dramatic literature class would love to read and act out this play.  It would be a play that connects to present day.  I have allowed scenes from Titus Andronicus for the required Shakespeare festival at the end of the dramatic literature semester class, and students do like portraying these scenes.

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