Books to Look Forward To
While there is some flexibility and change from year to year, students can expect to read most of the books from this group over the course of the year.
Holes is the book that I use to begin teaching kids about literary analysis and how to craft good responses to questions.
Eye of the Crow is a mystery. I use this book as a way to explore evidence and inference. This style of thinking is the cornerstone of archaeology. Just as the detective looks for clues to solve a mystery, archaeologists dig for artifacts that can help us solve the mysteries of the past.
A Bone from a Dry Sea is thematically related to our early humans unit. This novel is structured with two parallel stories—one tells about the experiences of a paleoanthropologist's daughter spending the summer with her dad on a dig in Africa; the other is a speculative tale about the experiences of a young female hominid's experiences at a time of the dawn of consciousness. One of the concepts we consider while reading this book is what makes us human.
Wolf Brother is another book of speculative fiction centering on a boy living in a hunter-gatherer culture in northern Europe. Wolf Brother is also read in association of the early humans unit.
The City of Ember supports our study of the agricultural revolution. Ember is a post-apocalyptic city that has been provided for by forward thinking scientists. It allows us to expore the necessities of civilization and consider how fear and stress affect a population and can make them more susceptible to manipulation.
Gathering Blue is another post-apocalyptic dystopia that lets students apply some of their learning around social levels and Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs.
Heroes and Monsters of Greek Myth and The Greek Gods are read as foundation texts for our study of Greek Mythology.