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High ability year 9s- novel recommendations?

Discussion in 'English' started by mrvonnegut, Jan 23, 2012.

  1. I did The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas last year - a few of them could have coped with a more complex plot, but the interesting narrative style and cross-curricular links kept them very interested. Plus, over half cried at the end (not just the girls, either), which is usually a sure sign that either they've appreciated a text, or that my teaching bores them to tears.

    This year, I'm going to try The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.
  2. sleepyhead

    sleepyhead New commenter

    We've just bought this, which I think is a shame since at least 2 of our feeders do it. Another book that will languish in the cupboard.
    This gets my vote. We moved it down from A Level (!) because it's gone off the spec, so it's not the children's edition, but they really enjoyed it.

  3. I tried the Curious Dog a few years ago and was disappointed with its reception among the more able students who found it quite dull after the initial few chapters
  4. mediadave

    mediadave New commenter

    How "high ability" are they exactly? A colleague of mine taught Lord of the Flies to a class we share who are mostly level 7 and they got a lot out of it. It's no longer on the GCSE spec (not for WJEC anyway). You could do something similar which is challenging and perhaps used to be avilable for GCSE but isn't any longer. If you sell it as a GCSE text too they'll probably be quite enthusiastic
  5. Thanks everyone! I might try LotF- they are all level 7s so it should work. A curious about Hunger Games- might have to read that one!
  6. LOTF is on the WJEC English Literature spec.
  7. leadlearner

    leadlearner New commenter

    Philip Pullman? Ruby in the Smoke? Animal Farm if they aren't studying this later?
  8. millicent_bystander

    millicent_bystander New commenter

    We've done Persepolis in the past, being a graphic novel it doesn't work in terms of reading aloud but my class absolutely loved it and still talked about it in year 11 when they saw copies in the classroom. Because of the complex issues it brings up and the wealth of wider reading, it really challenges them to think.
    We've done Curious Incident with most abilities and as a class text some of it can drag due to the narrative style which, although necessary for the character of Christopher, doesn't always give that much scope for interesting language analysis.
    Have fun choosing!
  9. Joannanna

    Joannanna New commenter

    I'm trialling doing To Kill a Mockingbird with my high ability (predicted 6s and 7s) year 9 bunch. It's a funny one cause I'll only see them 1 out of 5 lessons a week cause our PGCE student is taking them and I want to keep right out of what she is doing so there is no confusion. We've so far done a few lessons at the end of this half term on context and read the first chapter. They groaned for the first couple of pages but several moaned when we stopped cause they wanted to read on.
    I'll let you know how we get on.
  10. EmmaBB

    EmmaBB New commenter

    Century by Sarah Singleton. It's brilliant and my top set Y9s loved it.

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