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Lower ability 'Different Cultures' novels, anyone?

Discussion in 'English' started by VeronicAmb, Mar 15, 2012.

  1. VeronicAmb

    VeronicAmb Occasional commenter

    Hello there, and I will be the new Subject Leader of English, Media and Film after the Easter holidays, and I haven't the foggiest idea on what novel I should teach my lower ability set of year 10 English. Also, with this management this also includes all the rest of the teachers who have to teach set 4 & 5 English. I was thinking of "The Kite Runner". I've haven't read this book before, has anyone else?

    The reason why I have no idea on what to teach them is because I haven't taught year 10 set 4, nor 5 in a couple of years *excluding this one). I do not want to teach Of Mice & Men, because to be quite frank, I am sick-to-death of reading that novel. I can't stand it!!! You have no idea how horrible I find it! I know that may be bad for an English teacher, but I've been teaching that novel for 8 years STRAIGHT! And as you can possibly imagine, I can't be bothered to teach it aha!

    So does anyone have some good suggestions that I can take on board to what novels from Different Cultures I could read and teach to my year 10's, set 4 & 5?

    Thank you in advance.
  2. gruoch

    gruoch Established commenter

    That's an A level text!
  3. One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich

  4. anteater

    anteater New commenter

    Well, I'm not too familiar with the just English spec, so I've read the list of possible authors in the spec, and I'd be inclined to stick with old George and Lennie! However much you hate it, it will still be fresh and accessible to the kids, compared to many of the suggestions on that list. Doris Lessing, anyone?
  5. gruoch

    gruoch Established commenter

    I'm with anteater. OMAM is very accessible for any level/ability and they do like it.
  6. thebigonion

    thebigonion New commenter

    If you're going to be the new SL, doing OMAM may well be the path of least resistance - chances are everyone in the department will have taught it at least once - and there's a good film of it as well as a WORLD of resources out there. Nothing alienates a department like immedieately thrusting them out of their comfort zone...
    Look into the alternatives, though. We teach 'Heroes' - which goes down really well, even with my set who are LOW ability.

  7. gruoch

    gruoch Established commenter

    I am quite unable to describe how much I loathe that novel.
  8. anteater

    anteater New commenter

    Oooh, never read it, but with a recommendation like that I just have to try it!
  9. gruoch

    gruoch Established commenter

  10. GloriaSunshine

    GloriaSunshine New commenter

    Heroes, is OK, I think. Students either like it or don't mind it and they can write about use of flashbacks and first person narratives. It's a bit more challenging than Robert Swindells but still accessible. I've only used it with KS3. Every year, I think, oh no, not OMAM again and I've been teaching it for more than eight years, but it's fine once you get started and kids like it. As said, there's a good film version and loads of resources for it.
  11. The Old Man and the Sea or Red Dog (Louis De Bernieris) are both short, simple, accessible and moving.
  12. roamingteacher

    roamingteacher Established commenter Forum guide

    Erm...why do you have to decide what others teach? I understand why you feel the need to get a different novel for yourself but do the other teachers have no desire to choose their own? I'm guessing you already have OMAM in stock so is it budgetary constraints that dictate everyone has to do the same?

    In our department, we do what we prefer according to the needs and interests of the learners in front of us. We are in the enviable position of perhaps having more money to spend than the average English comp, but I'm just curious to know if most department heads decide what is being taught for everyone.

    Do they?
  13. GloriaSunshine

    GloriaSunshine New commenter

    The OP certainly has a creative way of expressing her ideas. And her ideas are, well, different.
  14. anteater

    anteater New commenter

    None of us should be having none of that! [​IMG]
  15. Carry on like this and you won't be looking after no rabbits![​IMG]
  16. purplefizz

    purplefizz New commenter

    Wow! Just wow! [​IMG]
  17. VeronicAmb

    VeronicAmb Occasional commenter

    No. I'll explain. In my school they split the year groups up into two. So they'll be 10-X4, 10-Y4, 10-X5 and 10-Y5 and for set four, were discussing having about 13 students each and for the 5th set, we'll have about 9, per say.

    Our school isn't that big, and that would be a bother since I already have massive groups for next year! To be honest, I was thinking about using To Kill A Mockingbird, but right now and my present school, I recently had done that with my year 11, set two and they did find it alright to interpret, but I plan on using that text for year 11s set 1 for their exam. We'll just have to see...
  18. sleepyhead

    sleepyhead New commenter

    We use it with all sets if the teacher so chooses.

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