Thursday, September 8, 2011

Silent Reading Subgenre Project

During the Fall Trimester of Silent Reading this year, you will choose a specific literary subgenre as a focus for your reading. You will then read 2-3 books over the course of the trimester within this subgenre. If you finish 3 books within your subgenre you can then read whatever you’d like for the remainder of the trimester.

You will need to choose a subgenre which holds a lot of interest for you. You will become a bit of an expert in this subgenre so you will want to choose wisely. Only works of fiction are eligible for this project. To insure that you really consider your options, you will actually identify 3 books in the 3 different subgenres which would interest you. You will turn in a worksheet with this information during your first Silent Reading class the week of September 19-23. Once you get your selection checked off, you may begin your reading.

There will be no homework component in Silent Reading this trimester. There is also no minimum reading amount. If you spend the entire trimester reading just two books and that is all you finish, that is fine, so long as you bring the correct books to class and are engaged in your reading. You can of course read your subgenre books outside of class. For in-class reading, however, you have to finish 3 books in the same subgenre before you move on to other genres and subgenres.

Books you have already read and books in a series from which you have read other books are not eligible for this project.

Your effort will determine your grade for this class.  You have a chance to earn 5 effort points each class in Silent Reading.  Here is the daily effort scale:

5: Subgenre book present, completely engaged in reading

4: Subgenre book present, engaged in reading with one minor lapse

3: Subgenre book present, with partial engagement in reading

2: Subgenre book not present OR little engagement in reading

1: No engagement in reading

Here are some examples of subgenres within wider genres of fiction:

Family: adoption, loss of parent, loss of sibling

Multi-Cultural: North American, Indian, Jewish, African American

Middle School: Bullies, cliques, misfits, gifted, friendship

High School: GLBT, Mean Girls, Substance Abuse, Romance

Historical: Salem Witch Trials, Civil War, World War II

Sports: baseball, swimming, gymnastics

Fantasy: anthropomorphic animals, re-told fairy tales, parallel worlds

Science Fiction: dystopia, interplanetary, alternate history, Steampunk

Supernatural: ghosts, fairies, zombies

Mystery: kidnapping, murder, private eye

Just about the only subgenre I will not allow is High Fantasy.  High Fantasy is a subgenre of Fantasy, but it is actually what most people think of when they think of Fantasy.  High Fantasy derives from Tolkien and usually concerns a hero who must learn to wield magic to go on a quest to defeat a great evil.  Think Eragon, basically.

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