Today I read my first manga book! I have never read anything from right to left or what seems to me, back to front, with the spine on the right. It was an enjoyable experience. Not only was I thinking about the content but I was conscious of the logistics of reading it, especially at first. I was surprised how quickly I got used to it though.
The experience got me thinking… students often gravitate to one genre or another. Why not propose a genre challenge in your class?
Begin by asking students to brainstorm a long list of genres, as specific a list as they can. Then, ask them to circle their favourite two genres or whatever they read most often. Perhaps there’s something on the list (like manga or a graphic novel) that they haven’t read before. Or, perhaps there’s something that they don’t typically read (nonfiction, mystery, poetry, a novel in verse). Challenge them to choose a genre outside their norm and then support them in finding a book that fits. Perhaps classmates could share recommendations, too.
What will you commit to reading? How will you motivate your students? How might they share their experiences with you and their peers during the process? Could they make predictions before they begin and then freewrite to reflect on the experience afterward? (“At first I thought…” and “I’ve realized….”)
Regardless of what you decide in your classroom, have fun!