Teachers - A Read-Aloud For Secondary & Adult Literacy Classrooms - Nightjohn


Teachers - A Read-Aloud For Secondary & Adult Literacy Classrooms - Nightjohn By Meggin McIntosh

One of the concepts that we often find ourselves stressing with students is the value of literacy - and the "luckiness" that they possess because they have the opportunity to become literate. Rather than the drudgery that they sometimes believe it to be, becoming literate is a prize - a treasure - and worth the sacrifice that it sometimes takes.

The most powerful book I have found in my professional life to make this point is Nightjohn by Gary Paulsen. For those familiar with Paulsen's books, this one is somewhat of a departure from his traditional writing, but a welcome one, as far as I'm concerned.

I had read a review of the book and it sounded good, so I bought it. I took it with me to read while out of town doing some workshops for teachers in a school district in Texas. I started it right before I went to bed (I thought), and found that I could not put it down until I had read all the way to the end. I also found it necessary to reread it right away. Luckily, the book is a short 92 pages and is a fast read. I knew that this book had to be shared with students.

While still a college of education professor, teaching pre-service and in-service teachers, I read to my students in every class period. I read entire picture books as well as excerpts from novels and longer informational books. Until Nightjohn, I had never read an entire chapter book aloud to my students, but in this case, it was worth the time. I wanted my students to have the same overwhelming experience that I did when reading the book.

Please, go get the book, read it to yourself and then to others. It is based on a true story and is told from the point of view of Sarny, a young slave girl. It is about the slaves who are owned by Old Waller, a despicable human being. Ultimately, it is a story of the struggle and the triumph of human desire. Readers are left with no question about the value of learning, and in particular, the value (albeit with costs) of literacy.

I invite you to access the scores of free resources that you can use to build literacy and vocabulary in your classroom, including PowerPoints, PDFs, and Word documents, by going to...

** http://www.OwningWordsforLiteracy.com - and you can click on the Downloads tab.

To get numerous articles with teaching tips (for free), just go to

http://www.ArticlesforTeachers.com and see what's there for you to use in your classroom.

(c) 2009 by Meggin McIntosh, Ph.D., "The Ph.D. of Productivity"(tm). Through her company, Emphasis on Excellence, Inc., Meggin McIntosh changes what people know, feel, dream, and do. Sound interesting? It is!

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