Monday, October 8, 2012

On lexiles and such

If you've ever read A Day No Pigs Would Die, you would understand my students' excitement.  When I would stop reading, multiple seventh graders would moan..."Nooooo, keep reading!"

The first chapter embraces excitement. The kids laughed and were scared and amazed at young Rob's bravery. 

"Oh wow.  This is a good book."

The lexile is at 790.

In eighth grade we are reading Treasure Island, the lexile score is 1100.  Even though we are reading out loud, the jump in lexile scores has the kids trudging along and often confused. 

In my older class, we are reading The Scarlet Letter.  Again, we are reading this out loud, but the students seem to be into the story.  I had one student ask me;

"Mrs. Aakhus, if this is so hard, why are we reading it?"

"It's worth it."

They seemed to be content with that answer.  I think the themes speak to them.  I found a lesson plan that paired stories and songs  with The Scarlet Letter by theme.  What a super idea!  Of course, this educator as included great activities from The Holocaust Museum,  "Run to the Hills" by Iron Maiden, and The Help. T  I will also pair this with Will Weaver's first chapter in Red Earth, White Earth and Dr. Suess' Sneeches

The Scarlet Letter has a lexile score of 1100.  Granted these students are three years or more older than my eighth graders, but what makes The Scarlet Letter more accessible to students?

Could it be the theme?  Could it be the thinking required of the deeper meaning of life?

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