What kind of book are you going to select?
Summer time. Schools are closed. You are a 5th grade ELA teacher. Local public library gives you a specific shelf and asks you to put some books where both children and parents can check out books. What kind of book are you going to select?
1.Classic and contemporary texts for children recognized for quality and literary merit.
2.Grade appropriate books which are closely aligned with school curriculum
3. Books which are fun and pleasing to read
I would have to go with #3 in that list of selections. The idea being, both with ELA learners and their parents (usually also limited English speakers) is to increase their understanding of the language and vocabulary and to give them a love of reading.
Too often I think we view our jobs as teachers as giving stduents everything they need to learn before they leave in the 12th grade. It's a rather silly proposition. Everyone continues to learn, what we are is the survey course. Sure, we can give them math and comprehension skills, but the desire to learn on their own, plus their interest in our subjects, is at least as important to their future intellectual growth.
The type of school and students certainly matters. My children attend a Classical Education Charter School. They are required at 5th grade to read 3 books during the summer that qualify on a summer reading list. These books have already been identified as having literary merit.
If you go this link below, you can scroll down to the document entitled Summer Reading List. It will give you sample titles that at least one school has identified as having literary merit. These are organized by grade so look for the 5th grade titles.
If I had students in a public system with varying interests and abilities with reading, I would look for high interest choice reading pieces. Research Young Adult literature titles and Newbery medal winners.
I think that my decision on what books to put on the shelf might be based on several conditions. One of these would be what the district requires of my students for next year. I would put books that would be part of the student's sixth grade experience on the shelf. I think that some might want to or need to get a head start on reading them and being able to use the summer for advance work on this front might be a good thing. Another factor would be the cultural context of my community of students. I would put books on the shelf that are culturally relevant to the lives of my students, as this might help to continue the love of reading within them through a sense of relevance. I think that these two conditions would play a vital role in determining what books I would put on the shelf at the library.
3.Books which are fun and pleasing to read as it will serve as a good purpose for the children as well as the parents to refresh themlselves which will be both funloving and pleasing.