By Kim Jones, CEO of Curriki
A recent study found that American high school students are, unfortunately, reading at roughly the 5th grade level. The study looked at the most popular 40 books that grade 9 through grade 12 teens are reading and found the average grade level of this collection is just 5.3.
The report, from Renaissance Learning, is titled What Kids Are Reading: The Book-Reading Habits of Students in American Schools, and is available here.
A slideshow of the top 20 books on the list, and their respective grade levels, is at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/22/top-reading_n_1373680.html#slide
“The single most important predictor of student success in college is their ability to read a range of complex text with understanding,” writes David Coleman, a contributor to Common Core State Standards and commentator on the study. “If you examine the top 40 lists of what students are reading today in 6th–12th grade, you will find much of it is not complex enough to prepare them for the rigors of college and career.”
To help ensure your students are reading at an appropriate level for high school, there is a wealth of reading resources at Curriki. A good starting point is
Within this set of resources you will find units on The Great Gatsby, Invisible Man, A Separate Peace, The Kite Runner and other novels, as well as poetry resources. (Note that April is National Poetry month in the US.) Take a look and help your students move up to an appropriate reading level.
Hal-low-een (n): an annual holiday observed on October 31. It has its roots in the Celtic festival Samhain and All Saints’ Day…
The night of ghost and ghouls, witches and warlocks, jack-o-lanterns and jokes inspires fear and creativity across the country year after year.
How did the modern Halloween tradition begin? What haunted traditions from the dark ages shape our celebration of the holiday today? How did an ancient harvest festival take such a terrifying turn? Watch The Haunted History of Halloween and trace the origins of the autumn holiday, from the Druids and Romans to the Monster Mash and Scream.
The swirling mists of cold autumn nights have inspired artists and poets for ages. The changing seasons, the uncertainty of the coming winter, the cold winds draw out tales of otherworldly, frightening experiences.
In American literature, no author gave a more powerful, haunting voice to these forces than Edgar Allan Poe. Poe pioneered the horror genre with such unsettling classics as The Raven and The Fall of the House of Usher.
After reading Poe’s work, encourage your students to craft their own horror stories, in the tradition of Edgar Allan Poe, just in time to spook their friends and teachers for Halloween.
Encourage literary and digital creations following the example of the Raven on the Simpsons or the Alan Parsons Project students can create their own spooky representations of Poe’s work.
Trick or Treat!
Have you used a Curriki resource recently? Review it!
Like what you read? Become a fan of Curriki on Facebook!
Curriki Goes Global!
Did you know that Curriki is host to hundreds of Open Educational Resources on language learning for all ability levels?
Acquiring a foreign language is one of the most personally and culturally rewarding tasks that we can put our minds to. In our increasingly globalized community, the camaraderie and understanding that comes with being able to communicate across cultures is a powerful tool in all global pursuits, be it travel, business, or education.
Increase your global awareness with World Language resources in and on a variety of languages, from Spanish to Chinese, German to Arabic, English to Indonesian, and more!
- Curriki is always looking to build its collection of educational resources for students, teachers and parents. If you have great resources on learning world languages and want to make it available to a global community of learners and educators, contribute to Curriki today!
Like what you read? Become a fan of Curriki on Facebook!
Image by: Curriki via Wordle
It’s National Poetry Month, which means its time to break out your school’s copies of Langston Hughes, Walt Whitman, Emily Dickinson and more!
Lucky for you and your students, Shmoop has made the month much more accessible and understandable by posting over a dozen poetry study guides on Curriki.
PS For students that love reading and analyzing poetry, make sure they check out this Shmoop contest!
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s most memorable speech from his life as an activist, “I Have a Dream,” was delivered August 28, 1963 before more than 200,000 people in front of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. as part of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom (see Online Newhour article link below).
The speech not only helped to galvanize the already growing civil-rights movement across the country at the time, it also became one of the most influential and inspirational pieces of rhetoric in American history.
Remarkably, midway through his delivery, King suspended his pre-scripted text and began to improvise; what resulted was the speech’s most recognizable section, the passage in which the words “I have a dream” are passionately repeated…
In celebration Black History Month, check out, “I have a dream as a work of literature”. In this lesson, students will study the rhetorical influences on King’s speech, the oratorical devices that King used, and how his speech compares to other famous speeches and literary forms.
Happy Black History Month!
P.S. Thanks to PBS NewsHour for contributing this wonderful lesson to Curriki. To see other NewsHour lessons on topics ranging from the economy to poetry to healthcare, click here.
Note: The above image can be found here and is available under the CC Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 2.0 Generic License.