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Social Media and Making Kids Want to Read

A student showed me something very similar to this the other day:


For the past two years, I have watched this phenomenon play out in the halls of my high school when we begin reading John Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men in my tenth-grade English classes. Without fail, a student comes into school the day after I've distributed books and says something along the lines of this: "Mr. English, I know what happens. George kills Lennie." They go on to say that the book is now "ruined" and insist that the next few weeks will be absolutely boring for them.

And as a result of this, my challenge for the next few weeks has no longer become about plot, especially for these students. It's an opportunity for me to revisit our essential question again and again and again.

These students know the outcome of the text, even if it wasn't on their own accord. I, however, have an opportunity to push them to think about this question in a deeper way than many of their peers:

When is doing something wrong actually right? 

What this social media spoiler alert also proves is that kids are talking about books. Isn't that what we want? Now I have a great example of what not to do when giving a book talk. 


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