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Help with 7th grade lessons


New Member
I am new teaching in the Library this year and I am running out of ideas.
I have 7th grade each morning for 45 minutes. I have one of the classes twice a week.
I teach in a inner city public school and these students are not interested. It is difficult to even get their attention to listen to me.
I started the year with read alouds with Edgar Allan Poe, The Dangerous Game, The Lottery, etc. I needed something that would grab their attention. While some where interested many didn't get it until I showed them a movie or explained after each paragraph. I then went into the dewey decimal system and online research. Many of them don't check out books and are not into reading. Does any one have any suggestions of what to do with this class?


Senior Member
Sounds like my school!

At my school, students do not read novels in the ELA classes, they read excerpts, and many do not have the interest or stamina to follow through a whole book. I found a few things that work:
* Genre- I found many of the students did not know what genre was. I did a quick intro to genre. I had about 10 to 15 books on each table and had the students sort the books by genre. I then had one person from each table tell us what genre a selected book belonged to an why. I corrected when necessary. This did help boost circulation.
*Blind date with a book. Wrap a book up in paper, remember to put the barcode on the wrapper. The advertise the blind date books. I wrote one word clues, or short sentences, on the cover and this really peeked their curiosity.
*Remind the video players that the game creators get many of their ideas from the Greek and Roman myths, and the Arthurian legends.
*Collection development. "The Lottery" may not have interested them because they can't find something in common with the story. Do you have "the Bluford School" series? 50 Cents book "Playground" is very popular in my school. I would like them to read quality literature, but first I have to get them reading. Graphic novels are very popular in my school.

Let me know if I can help some ore, and let us know what works! I struggle with this every dat:mad::p


Mrs. Tretbar

I feel your pain

6th graders are hard to entertain. I have discovered the "Skeleton Creek" series by Patrick Carman. Not all students liked it, but most of them did. I recommend the series for 6th and 7th grade.


Senior Member
Possible ideas

#Expand BLCW's genre study: Go over the parts of a book. Explain how the parts of a book may help students determine whether the book is fiction or nonfiction. Select books from your library about the same topic-for example, dogs. You can find a lot of fiction and nonfiction books about many topics. After going over the parts of a book (glossary, index, table of contents, title page, etc.) hold a book up and ask students to guess whether it is fiction or nonfiction by the title or by the cover. Put fiction in one pile and nonfiction in another. After you have gone through the stack of books, have students work in groups to determine if the class chose correctly. They are then to show each book and explain why the parts of a book helped determine which genre the book was. (We think this is nonfiction because the pictures are photographs instead of drawing. -Of course, some fiction books have pictures but there are few of them)

#Have a Scavenger Hunt through an encyclopedia, almanac, atlas, dictionary, or any other reference book--even Guiness books. Allow students to work in pairs. You could also have a Scavenger Hunt using your search engine. Ask for questions that could be found in an entry.

#Borrow picture books from an elementary library close by and teach literary elements using the books. I've found that kids love picture books no matter what age they are.

# Students should locate anybook from the reference shelf and choose a fact from the book to share. After students have selected their facts, they bring the book to you and you display them on a table at the front of the area. Students give their fact, and the other students guess which reference book they come from. <!--book-->