Students Get New Assignment: Pick Books You Like

Students Get New Assignment: Pick Books You Like

Alejandra Valera
Sep 3, 2009

"Choice as a motivator..." Will children who are allowed to pick what they read in school, more likely to become life-long readers and lovers of books than those who are assigned texts?

In the New York Times article, //">Students Get New Assignment: Pick Books You Like, Motoko Rich writes of various schools around the country where children are given the option to select the books they would like to read.

We grew up being assigned the classics in elementary school. By the time we were in 7th grade, we had read "1984", "Animal Farm" and many Shakespearean plays. And while we absolutely loved those books and would like to think that we'd have selected those titles anyway had we been given a choice, would we have? Or would our 7th grade self have stuck with "Sweet Valley High"?

One of the teachers participating in the program states, "I feel like almost every kid in my classroom is engaged in a novel that they're actually interacting with...Whereas when I do 'To Kill a Mockingbird,' I know that I have some kids that just don't get into it."

Critics, however, say that without the assigned texts and group learning approach, children will be lacking the conversations and examinations of the works which will lead to a deeper understanding of them. Also, how many children will willingly choose canonical pieces of literature?

What do you think?

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