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The Teacher Tip

Selecting A Text

May 9, 2018

Adapted from 180 Days by Kelly Gallagher and Penny Kittle

When it comes to selecting works for whole-class study, we have always liked Carol Jago’s guidelines. In Classics in the Classroom (2004), Jago suggests choosing books that:

• Are written in language that is perfectly suited to the author’s purpose
• Expose readers to complex human dilemmas
• Include compelling, disconcerting characters
• Explore universal themes that combine different periods and cultures
• Challenge readers to examine their beliefs
• Tell a good story with places for laughing and places for crying

Works that meet all these criteria deserve a more measured reading; there is a deeper texture to them than is found in some books students choose for independent reading- and we want our students to experience this richness. These books have something worthwhile to say to all readers.

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