Thursday, March 13, 2014

The Magic of Using Middle Grade Novels in the Classroom

Those of us who have taught or are still teaching middle grade know it can be a challenge to inspire some of our students to read.  But all is not lost! 

 Never have there been more middle grade novels written to ignite the reading flame in our children's minds.  What can reading such good, well-written, entertaining, and life changing books do overall for kids?

Let's first define some of the changes mg kids go through on their journeys to becoming young adults.
  • They usually develop a stronger sense of self.
  • These years are the beginning of the end of childhood.
  • Romantic fantasies begin for girls and boys.
  • Both genders begin moving in packs which can lead to leadership.
  • Bullying and being bullied can occur, involving both boys and girls.
Prominent themes with middle grade children are:

Good vs Evil
A Great Journey
Growing Up

Middle Grade children are on the cusp of emerging into the adults they will some day be.  Good novels written for them can help assure this age group they are on the right track emotionally.The books can validate who they are in the moment, who they are looking forward to becoming, and the children they are reading about have facets of themselves within those pages.  Powerful stuff for an impressionable middle grader to grab hold of and not let go.  

Read a middle grade novel with your students or your young one at home.  Discover for yourself how powerful and life-changing reading about a protagonist (or antagonist) can be.  And how very much your impressionable youth may benefit from doing so.  I don't think you will be disappointed at the outcome.

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