Reading Writing Teaching

Don’t you just love that moment when disparate areas in your life cross paths? I remember being a junior in high school, taking American History and learning about the 1920s. At the same time in English we were reading The Great Gatsby. It was one of those educational moments that clicked for me. What I learned in one class directly enforced what I learned in the other. Obviously, or I should say hopefully, this interdisciplinary approach was carefully orchestrated by my teachers at the time. When I taught To Kill a Mockingbird to my middle school students, I worked closely with the History teacher while she taught our students about the Great Depression. So now I’m tutoring a middle school boy and we’re reading Cynthia Lord’s Rules together – an excellent book, by the way. I highly recommend it to parents of early middle school readers. I was so delightfully surprised when Arnold Lobel’s Frog and Toad appears in the book as a sort of a metaphor for how the protagonist’s autistic brother uses the characters and their thoughts and actions to cope with his own life. Had I not recently read this book with my daughter, I certainly would not have understood its placement or meaning, and as such, I hope that teachers who use this book in their classroom have students read one of the Frog and Toad stories to enforce its relevance.

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