Irvington: Lucy Calkins Reading Workshop

IUFSD has adopted Lucy Calkins’ Reading Workshop (scroll down) , a “balanced literacy” approach to English Language Arts that rejects assigned reading in favor of each student choosing the book he or she will read.

In 7th grade, IMS students read two shared (whole class) novels:

The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton (reading level: Grade 5.1)
The Giver by Lois Lowry (reading level: Grad 5.9)

Below is a partial list of books Irvington 7th graders read during Fall 2011, provided by IMS principal David Sottile: these are the books individual children chose to read. By March, students were on track to read approximately 25 books apiece in total during the school year, all but 2 of their own choosing.

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Core Knowledge: 7th Grade English Reading List

The works listed below are assigned reading. All students read, discuss, study, and write about each work in the curriculum.

If Irvington were to adopt Core Knowledge (or a variant of Core Knowledge), we would be able to post this curriculum on the district website and distribute it to realtors. This is the curriculum many (perhaps most) parents want; this is the curriculum (or one like it) people pay private and parochial schools to provide to their children.

NOTE: the Core Knowledge curriculum is free.

Annabel Lee (Edgar Allan Poe)
Because I could not stop for Death (Emily Dickinson)
The Charge of the Light Brigade (Alfred Lord Tennyson)
The Chimney Sweeper (both versions from The Songs of Innocence and The Songs
of Experience; William Blake)
The Cremation of Sam McGee (Robert Service)
Dulce et Decorum Est (Wilfred Owen)
Fire and Ice; Nothing Gold Can Stay (Robert Frost)
Heritage (Countee Cullen)
Macavity: The Mystery Cat (T.S. Eliot)
The Negro Speaks of Rivers; Harlem; Life is Fine (Langston Hughes)
This Is Just to Say; The Red Wheelbarrow (William Carlos Williams)

“The Gift of the Magi” (O. Henry)
“The Necklace” (Guy de Maupassant)
“The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” (James Thurber)
“The Tell-Tale Heart”; “The Purloined Letter” (Edgar Allan Poe)

The Call of the Wild (Jack London)
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (Robert Louis Stevenson)

“Shooting an Elephant” (George Orwell)
“The Night the Bed Fell” (James Thurber)
“Declaration of War on Japan” (Franklin D. Roosevelt)

Diary of a Young Girl (Anne Frank)

Cyrano de Bergerac (Edmond Rostand)

SOURCE: Core Knowledge Sequence: Content and Skill Guidelines for Grades K–8

Robert Pondiscio on Reading Workshop (scroll down)
A New Assignment: Pick Books You Like
By MOTOKO RICH August 29, 2009

Call me E.D. Hirsch
Nonfiction Curriculum Enhanced Reading Skills, Study Finds
By Anna M. Phillips March 11, 2012

Sandra Stotsky on students choosing their own books in English class

What Kids Are Reading: The Book-Reading habits of Students
in American Schools 2012 | Renaissance Learning

What Kids Are Reading: The Book-Reading Habits of Students in
..American Schools 2013 | Renaissance Learning

What do home buyers want?
Curriculum & property values
Children choosing books

E.D. Hirsch’s Core Knowledge Sequence by grade
Per pupil spending