Prescribed Learning Outcomes:
Independently select and read, for sustained periods of time, texts for enjoyment and to increase fluency.
- choose texts of appropriate difficulty (e. g., vocabulary preview, paraphrase a paragraph)
- select texts based on personal interest or topic of study (e. g, preview table of contents, choose by genre and/or author, choose a resource from text set)
- read independently every day (e. g., 15-20 minutes in class, 30-35 minutes on own time)
- track and/or describe independent reading (e. g., home reading logs, literary journals, book reviews, partner talk)
- offer to read aloud to various audiences (e. g., family members, a partner, information circle, research group)
- use knowledge of the genre and text structure to improve fluency and expression when reading aloud talk about independent reading as an enjoyable and shared experience (e. g., “I really liked the alternating
- narratives in The Englishman’s Boy. ” “I’m enjoying reading biographies because… “)
- describe text, author, and/or genre preferences (e. g., Jon’s short stories appeal to my sense of humour. He uses exaggeration and sarcasm to get at the ridiculous.
This assignment requires that you read a minimum of one non-fiction book that is relevant to an important current or historical issue, event or person. Today, humanity faces a plethora of global quandaries such as human rights violations, environmental degradation, climate change, peak oil, excessive consumerism and permanent war that demand our collective attention. We are also in the midst of a cultural shift from print-based to digital media which is fraught significant implications for contemporary society. By becoming better informed on these issues, young people – you, our citizens to be – can make a difference. Deepening and broadening your knowledge of these issues is the first step in changing the world for the better.
Because I recognize the importance of this assignment, I have made many of my own books available to students. In addition, our library has an excellent selection of non-fiction books on a diverse range of topics relevant to this activity.
After you have chosen a suitable book, please remember to bring it to class each day. Quiet reading time will be provided at least three times per week.
One more plug for this assignment: Research demonstrates a high correlation between academic success and the amount of leisure time students give over to reading. Reading – especially engaging novels and non-fiction – increases vocabulary more than talking or direct teaching; it substantially boosts general knowledge while decreasing the likelihood that misinformation will be absorbed, and it helps keep our memory and reasoning abilities intact as we age. The ability to read and comprehend propositional prose – to follow and grasp a complex argument (deep reading) – improves with practice and is essential not only for completing functional tasks but for the ability to think critically and creatively, to becoming an engaged citizen in our democratic polity.
In addition to the sheer pleasure of reading an engaging book, you will be required to create a reading log, as outlined on the reverse side of this page. Enjoy!