Three for Thursday


Thanks to Fuse #8’s list of the Top 100 Children’s Novels, I had an especially delightful class with my 6th grade students yesterday. This is a group of eight very enthusiastic and avid readers so I knew they would enjoy looking at the list and counting (somewhat competitively) how many they had read.

I copied the list of 100 titles for each student and then saved a few minutes at the end of class to share it with them. Okay, I lost a bit of control at that point.  The next few minutes were somewhat chaotic as they checked-off, gave recommendations to their friends and compared totals.  After a few minutes, I just sat back and let them go because it struck me how truly amazing the scene was. The students were in a “zone” over a list of books. They were asking friends what to read next, asking me for recommendations and suggesting that by the end of the summer, they would have read any title they had missed. I have to say that it was wonderful.

With that class in mind, I will suggest three books that these kids seemed especially excited to see on the list:

Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle

Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli

4 thoughts on “Three for Thursday

  1. Well, Shelley, the enthusiasm spilled over into our kitchen last night as my daughter (one of your sixth graders) pulled out the list and read aloud every title, noting the ones she had read and was able to check off. Then, of course, she proceeded to grilled me on how many of the 100 titles I had read! We had a blast, and look forward to our summer reading. Thank you.

  2. Oh yes, I heard all about it at home too. My 6th grader is committed to checking off the list the ones she hasn’t read yet. Gotta love the enthusiasm!! Thanks for sharing it with them.

  3. Proof that when the bar is raised, children will leap higher and higher…100 books…why not? In a year? Perhaps, since they’ve already read some of them anyway. My 6th graders read 40 books this year, a goal based on the Book Whisperer program, in which students study reading comprehension strategies through genre studies but have choices about their literature books. Wow! The kids LOVED the freedom to make choices within guidelines, and their new enthusiasm for reading is a testament to the success of the program. Anyone who is interested in teaching children’s literature should check it out.

  4. Shelley – thanks for sharing this great list. I took a cue from Liz Knox and had my middle schoolers check off which of the books they had read. I just ordered a couple that none of us (including me!) have read; we are looking forward to diving in! Thanks!

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