Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Lord! What fools these mortals be.

Apologies to all of you!

This semester was much more stressful and demanding than I expected it to be.  I took on an additional ENG 201: Research and Applied Writing course (our students needed the additional section), resulting in a semester of manic rushing and grading.  This, among other areas of my life, fell by the wayside.  Never again--I promise!

I do want to share that reading The Hunger Games in my ENG 120: Composition class was a resounding success!  Not only did my students actually read the book (I know this is shocking...I will understand if you need a moment to absorb that...), but they enjoyed it!  We watched the Jennifer Lawrence film version of the book in class during the last week before students' Research Papers and Presentations were due.  Many of my students finished reading The Hunger Games fairly quickly, so I lent them my personal copies of Catching Fire and Mockingjay.

Reading The Hunger Games was an experiment, but it was incredibly successful in a number of ways:

1.  Students read.  (If you teach, you understand that this, in and of itself, is a major accomplishment!)
2.  Students engaged with what they read.  We had debates and in-class discussions about morals, ethics, government involvement in personal life, the value of life, and dozens of other topics.
3.  Students used what they had read to write interested, engaged essays.
4.  Students wanted to read more than the assigned reading.  On any given class day, more than half of my students were ahead of the reading schedule on the syllabus.  By midterm, several students were reading the second and third books in the trilogy, and by the time we met for our final exam, almost half the class had read the entire trilogy--without the promise of any sort of class credit.

I teach two sections of ENG 120 in the Spring, and while one section is definitely going to read The Hunger Games, I am considering assigning Ender's Game in the second section.  With any luck, the film of Ender's Game will make it out of production and into the theaters in 2013!

Happy Hanukkah and Merry Christmas to all--I hope you have a wonderful New Year, if I don't post again until January!