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Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Raven,” Read by Christopher Walken, Vincent Price, and Christopher Lee

Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Raven,” Read by Christopher Walken, Vincent Price, and Christopher Lee | Classics in the Classroom | Scoop.it
Edgar Allan Poe’s classic moody-broody poem “The Raven,” none is more fun than The Simpsons’, in which Lisa Simpson’s intro transitions into the reading voice of James Earl Jones and the slapstick interjections of Homer as Poe’s avatar and Bart as...
Elizabeth Sky-McIlvain's insight:

What a wonderful way to work some Media Literacy into a MS or HS class - along with Poe, of course.  

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SurLaLune Fairy Tales: Annotated Fairy Tales, Fairy Tale Books and Illustrations

SurLaLune Fairy Tales: Annotated Fairy Tales, Fairy Tale Books and Illustrations | Classics in the Classroom | Scoop.it
Portal to the realm of fairy tale and folklore studies featuring annotated fairy tales, numerous unique ebooks, illustrations, and a forum.
Elizabeth Sky-McIlvain's insight:

Fairy Tales do not stop with Cinderella, although many teachers do.  On this site find in-depth annotation/analysis of 49 fairy tales, modern interpretations (including some media), illustrations. Links to at least 40 full-text eBooks expands student reading into a global library of folklore and tales.  This the meat and potatoes of cross-cultural reading, of core classics, of CCSS-type analysis.  Not just for kids - many of these stories lexile at the HS level.

Go on - enrich students with some of the UR plotlines, characters, settings, and conflicts.  Let them run with it.  I would also use Roderick Pullman's new "retellings" of the same tales, by the way.  And throw in a few episodes of Grimm and Once Upon a Time.  On their own, students can access Shrek and a host of other movies, from animations to dark and stark.  Speaking of dark, HS students (and MS selectively) should read some of the poems in "Transformations" (Anne Sexton).

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American Indians in Children's Literature (AICL): Tim Tingle's HOUSE OF PURPLE CEDAR

American Indians in Children's Literature (AICL): Tim Tingle's HOUSE OF PURPLE CEDAR | Classics in the Classroom | Scoop.it
Throughout, there is a confidence in humanity.
Elizabeth Sky-McIlvain's insight:

So while you are reading approaches to racism with your students, read a Native voice.  It lexiles at 860, but Debbie Reese puts it in the HS or YA list because of content. 

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Successful launch of NASA's Orion spacecraft heralds first step on journey to Mars

Successful launch of NASA's Orion spacecraft heralds first step on journey to Mars | Classics in the Classroom | Scoop.it
NASA marked a critical step on the journey to Mars with its Orion spacecraft during a roaring liftoff into the dawn sky over eastern Florida
Elizabeth Sky-McIlvain's insight:

And I for one believe in Bradbury, if not in life on Mars.

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Elizabeth Sky-McIlvain's curator insight, December 5, 5:52 PM

Gosh - I hope someone is still reading The Martian Chronicles. This gem contains some of the best stories ever about interracial communication, technology, and love. This piece, of course, is about our quest to make the dream come true...

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The Pain of the Watermelon Joke

The Pain of the Watermelon Joke | Classics in the Classroom | Scoop.it
The history is more than an ugly stereotype of African-Americans.
Elizabeth Sky-McIlvain's insight:

And while you are reading Woodson's brown girl dreaming, read her op ed. If you don't know about the "watermelon joke" you should find out.  This piece is class-room worthy by itself, but with the memoir and other multicultural pieces it grows in depth.  

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Tim Burton Directs Ray Bradbury’s “The Jar” on Alfred Hitchcock Presents (1986)

Tim Burton Directs Ray Bradbury’s “The Jar” on Alfred Hitchcock Presents (1986) | Classics in the Classroom | Scoop.it
In Bradbury’s story, a failing farmer buys a jar with a curious thing floating in it. It is described as “one of those pale things drifting in alcohol plasma . . . with its peeled, dead eyes staring out at you and never seeing you.” This thing, however, has a peculiar charisma.
Elizabeth Sky-McIlvain's insight:

If you are a Bradbury fan, as I am, or have students reading the Master, consider showing the two versions of "The Jar" found in this post (and on YouTube).  Differences relate to production dates, directors, interpretations. Of course, you have to read the story first. Not for middle school.

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Kim's former bodyguard tells of beatings, starvation in North Korean prison camp

Kim's former bodyguard tells of beatings, starvation in North Korean prison camp | Classics in the Classroom | Scoop.it
Kim Jong Il's former bodyguard tells of beatings endured at North Korea's most notorious prison camp.
Elizabeth Sky-McIlvain's insight:

Just in case you are reading The Orphan Master's Son...   I am amazed at how much of that novel's story is validated repeatedly in informational news text.

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Official site of the #WeNeedDiverseBooks Campaign

Official site of the #WeNeedDiverseBooks Campaign | Classics in the Classroom | Scoop.it
Diverse middle grade recommendations? We have those too! Just follow the arrows to what you love for a perfect read! 
Elizabeth Sky-McIlvain's insight:

I'm not suggesting that there are fabulous classics on this list (scroll down to get the titles), but there are some excellent reads for middle school. Share this with your librarian too!

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Stephen Colbert Reads Ray Bradbury Classic Sci-Fi Story “The Veldt”

Stephen Colbert Reads Ray Bradbury Classic Sci-Fi Story “The Veldt” | Classics in the Classroom | Scoop.it

Given how much progress our pursuit of total automation and virtual stimulation (and our parallel desire to escape those conditions) has made in the past 64 years, “The Veldt” has grown only more relevant.

Elizabeth Sky-McIlvain's insight:

A good teacher reading is not as good as a great, intuitive professional speaker reading. Give this one a try. And ask students the questions Neil Gaiman asks: "'Are our children our own?,’ and ‘What does technology do to them?'” 

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Toby Dammit: Fellini’s Masterful Short Film, Based on a Tale by Edgar Allan Poe (1968)

Toby Dammit: Fellini’s Masterful Short Film, Based on a Tale by Edgar Allan Poe (1968) | Classics in the Classroom | Scoop.it

The writings of Edgar Allan Poe have long been tempting source material for filmmakers.

Elizabeth Sky-McIlvain's insight:

The tale is "Never Bet the Devil Your Head" (http://kosmicki.com/234/NBTDYH.htm).  The Devil is shown in the still above.  A great way to include this American master in a HS curriculum.  Talk about opportunities for cross-analysis!

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Bill Murray Gives a Delightful Dramatic Reading of Twain’s Huckleberry Finn (1996)

Bill Murray Gives a Delightful Dramatic Reading of Twain’s Huckleberry Finn (1996) | Classics in the Classroom | Scoop.it
George Barnard Shaw once called Mark Twain “the American Voltaire,” and like the inspired French satirist, Twain seems to have something to say to every age, from his own to ours. But if Twain is Voltaire, to whom do we compare Bill Murray?
Elizabeth Sky-McIlvain's insight:

The passage begins with the question: Why doesn't lightning cast a shadow?  It must, think Huck and Jim, have something to do with ghosts. Following is a story that will send you all ashiverin. You don't need to listen to all 1:18:52 to gain an appreciation of Twain. Or maybe not. This passage engages the listener in some of the essential contemporary criticisms of Huck Finn.  Raise the critical questions before listening.

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The Labors of Hercules by Agatha Christie

The Labors of Hercules by Agatha Christie | Classics in the Classroom | Scoop.it
I really wanted to teach a mystery to my ninth grade students this year, and I was a little alarmed to learn the only one we had enough copies of was The Labor…
Elizabeth Sky-McIlvain's insight:

I hope you can access this post to English Companion Ning. It includes a unit plan for 9th grade (also useful for GT middle or 8th) covering Christie's Poirot stories, related myths, and literary study. Timing is great, as Masterpiece Theatre has a new Poirot mini-series in progress. This text is not cheap at Amazon, but the Kindle edition is reasonable and you might have older copies lying around.  Also supplement with a few of the delicious graphic novel versions of the 12 Labors!  

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Greek Myth Comix

Greek Myth Comix | Classics in the Classroom | Scoop.it

From an English professor, comix to help HS students study for their national exams.  

Elizabeth Sky-McIlvain's insight:

And also fun - run through all of the posts and pages. Iliad. Odyssey, myths, ideas for using in the classroom.  

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The 3 Scariest Words A Boy Can Hear

The 3 Scariest Words A Boy Can Hear | Classics in the Classroom | Scoop.it
"Be a man" — it's a mandate most boys hear at least once in their lives. Former NFL player Joe Ehrmann says it can leave boys ill-equipped to face life's real challenges.
Elizabeth Sky-McIlvain's insight:

I find this an interesting lens through which to view many of the novels (still) taught in the MS and HS classroom. Students of both sexes can benefit from examining author's plots, characters and language for "manisms" - and avoidance of same. Is Katniss, for example, hearing this message?

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Ayn Rand Reviews Children’s Movies - The New Yorker

Ayn Rand Reviews Children’s Movies - The New Yorker | Classics in the Classroom | Scoop.it
“Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory”: An excellent film. The obviously unfit are winnowed out, and an enterprising young boy receives a factory.
Elizabeth Sky-McIlvain's insight:

Reading Anthem along with the others? Maybe you can get kids reading about it and interested in the author and her message by having them read these "reviews" (spoofs, of course).  

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Three Strikingly Different Views of North Korea, the Most Secretive Country in the World

Three Strikingly Different Views of North Korea, the Most Secretive Country in the World | Classics in the Classroom | Scoop.it
The world’s interest in North Korea has run especially strong in the 21st century
Elizabeth Sky-McIlvain's insight:

and I don't suppose anyone but me has read The Orphan Master's son. Too bad.

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Novelist Isabel Allende on Her Literary Career and Memories of Chile During the CIA-Backed Coup

Novelist Isabel Allende on Her Literary Career and Memories of Chile During the CIA-Backed Coup | Classics in the Classroom | Scoop.it
And I try to explain to Americans, and it’s hard for you to envision the possibility that the army would take over the government
Elizabeth Sky-McIlvain's insight:

Good background for a reading of House of the Spirits, especially. 

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National Book Award Winner Jacqueline Woodson Talks brown girl dreaming

National Book Award Winner Jacqueline Woodson Talks brown girl dreaming | Classics in the Classroom | Scoop.it
brown girl dreaming is very specific in the sense of place and character – but it’s very universal to, in its approach to family and friendship.
Elizabeth Sky-McIlvain's insight:

Very readable interview with award-winning author Woodson. Learn something about the author and about her hopes for the reader.  

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15 Great Films Adapted From Equally Great Novels

15 Great Films Adapted From Equally Great Novels | Classics in the Classroom | Scoop.it

ThiHow often does a film adaptation of a novel you love meet your expectations? Circle one: A) Always B) Often C) Rarely D) Never.

Elizabeth Sky-McIlvain's insight:

This is a person listing, culled from a Top 50 culled by the Guardian from its readers.  If, by any chance, you have students reading one of these books. I read four of these in MS (when MSchoolers were, well, reading...), the rest I read in HS (when HSchoolers were, well, reading...) or after.  What would you add to this list?  I think perhaps The Road, The Shining, and at least one of the Harry Potters might be on my list.  Anyway, use the films if you are reading the novels.  

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Common Core vs. great literature

Common Core vs. great literature | Classics in the Classroom | Scoop.it

In short, there is now very good reason to worry that the coming of the Common Core may produce a widespread deemphasis and devaluation of some of the greatest books ever written in the English language.

Elizabeth Sky-McIlvain's insight:

This is specific to New York City, but just today I read three glowing classroom reports about informational text packets (with some time for "fun" reading of fiction allocated as a break) and saw a video of how to pair 5th graders so that they learn to find the "evidence" in a text. So yes, despite clear year-long informational texts for teachers and administrators, the message is not clear. So yes, a cause for worry.  Unless, of course, the tests are driving this decision, in which case scores might improve over their miserable all-time low...

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J.K. Rowling writes new Harry Potter tale for Halloween

J.K. Rowling writes new Harry Potter tale for Halloween | Classics in the Classroom | Scoop.it

J.K. Rowling is serving up a special Halloween dose of Harry Potter for her die-hard fans, this time in the form of a profile of one of the most malicious characters in the Harry Potter universe.

Elizabeth Sky-McIlvain's insight:

It's too short, even for a 3rd grader who is reading the series with gusto. But thanks anyway.

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The Sonnets by William Shakespeare

The Sonnets by William Shakespeare | Classics in the Classroom | Scoop.it
Despite its scholarly feel, the sheer wealth of information contained within this collection makes it an ideal resource, particularly in a junior- or senior-level English course. However, teachers could also use the content to introduce students in middle school or early high school to Shakespeare.
Elizabeth Sky-McIlvain's insight:

Why not?

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Catch and Sing the Sun

Catch and Sing the Sun | Classics in the Classroom | Scoop.it

Good morning. This morning, I'm thinking of Dylan Thomas's lines from "Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night." I often wake up thinking of heavy poetry. I just do. 

Elizabeth Sky-McIlvain's insight:

This is a personal essay with strong elements of critical thinking. Read it and share it, those of you who still believe that personal responses to poetry are OK.  

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Folger’s Shakespeare Library Releases 80,000 Images of Literary Art Into the Public Domain

Folger’s Shakespeare Library Releases 80,000 Images of Literary Art Into the Public Domain | Classics in the Classroom | Scoop.it
Has a writer ever inspired as many adaptations and references as William Shakespeare? In the four hundred years since his death, his work has patterned much of the fabric of world literature and seen countless permutations on stage and screen.
Elizabeth Sky-McIlvain's insight:

Search on a title, character, etc. - combine with other images (eg. graphic novels, stills from current and past stage productions) to extend understanding of plays in production, cultural impacts, interpretations...

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Will Fiction Influence How We React to Climate Change? - Room for Debate - NYTimes.com

Will Fiction Influence How We React to Climate Change? - Room for Debate - NYTimes.com | Classics in the Classroom | Scoop.it
Will movies and novels about the effects of climate change make a difference in how people react to global warming?
Elizabeth Sky-McIlvain's insight:

File this under Why We Need to Read Fiction STILL.  I have just finished three novels of the cli-fi genre - one YA, one summer slight, one Margaret Atwood. Awareness heightened.

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Does Poetry Matter? - Room for Debate - NYTimes.com

Does Poetry Matter? - Room for Debate - NYTimes.com | Classics in the Classroom | Scoop.it
Sunday's New York Times Book Review featured several new collections of poems. But does poetry matter? Is it relevant?
Elizabeth Sky-McIlvain's insight:

Short answers for the beleaguered teacher, who is trying to find relevance so poetry will fit into the curriculum. To sum it up: "When it is once more taken seriously in the schools, poetry will be loved again." Take it seriously by reading it, shouting it, writing it, leading students to it. And become a reader of poetry yourself.

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paulrogersstudio News

paulrogersstudio News | Classics in the Classroom | Scoop.it
paulrogersstudio news Illustration and graphic design studio of Paul Rogers
Elizabeth Sky-McIlvain's insight:

If you have a HS student reading this classic - perhaps because his grandparents talked enthusiastically about it - you should send them to this graphic version (on-going). I find that segmenting the text this way renders it harmless - even silly. But that's just me.

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