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Dystopian Book Clubs

By Lucy Calkins, Katy Wischow

This unit is for teachers whose classes could benefit from a deep study of an incredibly engaging genre. It will support classes who could learn to talk more deeply about their reading and push themselves to read with greater volume. It will also pay off for teachers who want to take advantage of the power of a popular genre to lure kids into studying complexity and symbolism and allusions.

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About the Unit

This unit is for teachers whose classes could benefit from a deep study of an incredibly engaging genre. It will support classes who could learn to talk more deeply about their reading and push themselves to read with greater volume. It will also pay off for teachers who want to take advantage of the power of a popular genre to lure kids into studying complexity and symbolism and allusions.

During the unit, readers will develop skills in reading more complex fiction texts: analyzing symbolism, deepening character analysis, understanding story arcs, reading critically with questions in mind. Meanwhile, they will build on their work with reading notebooks, strengthening their ability to transfer their skills from one context to another, and supporting their increasing independence as readers and thinkers. 

About the Units of Study for Teaching Reading, Middle Grades Series

We want our middle grades students to become flexible, resilient readers, we want them to have a toolkit of strategies for dealing with difficulty, and we want them to read broadly and deeply, alert to the intricacies of texts and to the power of language. To accomplish such ambitious goals, we need classroom structures and resources that support this kind of explicit teaching and learning. The reading workshop offers a simple and predictable framework for teaching strategies and for giving students feedback while they are in the midst of the ever-changing, complex reading work they will do across the middle school grades.  

The Units of Study for Teaching Reading series saves teachers hundreds of hours of planning, freeing time for analyzing student work, working with individuals and small groups, and for studying with colleagues. The series provides teachers with the tools and support they need to move students quickly and efficiently toward grade-level expectations, while also helping kids become proficient, lifelong readers.

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