November 29, 2003
At the beginning of the school year I will prepare a list of the possible stories to be read, along with the names of the authors. (Our literature book has six units of about five stories each. Each unit has a specific focus: Plot, Theme, Characterization, etc.) Students will have a week-end to scan the stories checking illustrations, author's bio notes, reading story summaries, etc. to get a general idea of the stories. On the following Monday we hold a 'class vote' to select the one story from each unit that the majority of students prefer. They're all good stories so I have no problem with what they select (even if they are the shortest stories). I, on the other hand, get to select two stories. My favorites are 'The Scarlet Ibis' and 'The Gift of the Magi.' This always works well; students appreciate the opportunity to have a say in what is read. If a student's story was not selected, he/she has the option of reading it anyway, and getting bonus points for a good story report.