Teaching YA Lit through Differentiated Instruction
Authors Susan L. Groenke and Lisa Scherff offer suggestions for incorporating YA lit into the high school curriculum.
Sales of young adult literature are stronger than ever. When we pay attention to what teens are reading outside of the classroom, we see that young adult novels are the books teens buy with their allowance money, pass around to their friends, and write about in their blogs or at fan fiction sites. These are the books that tell teens their lives matter and their own life stories are important.
Authors Susan L. Groenke and Lisa Scherff offer suggestions for incorporating YA lit into the high school curriculum by focusing on a few key questions:
- Which works of YA literature work better for whole-class instruction and which are more suitable for independent reading and/or small-group activities?
- What can teachers do with YA lit in whole-class instruction?
- How can teachers use YA novels to address the needs of diverse readers in mixed-ability classrooms?
Each chapter opens with an introduction to and description of a different popular genre or award category of YA lit—science fiction, realistic teen fiction, graphic novels, Pura Belpré award winners, nonfiction texts, poetry, historical YA fiction—and then offers suggestions within that genre for whole-class instruction juxtaposed with a young adult novel more suited for independent reading or small-group activities.
Groenke and Scherff present a variety of activities for differentiated instruction for the novel they’ve chosen for whole-class study, and provide an appendix of titles, by genre, that interest adolescent readers.
This book helps English teachers address the different reading needs and strengths adolescents bring to our classrooms. Highlighting some of the best young adult literature published since 2000, this book shows that YA lit is for all students and deserves a more central place in secondary literature instruction.
177 pp. 2010. Grades 9–12.