Sharon Kane’s Integrating Literature in the Content Areas
Wednesday I spoke about Storyworks and bringing non-fiction into elementary school classroom. Today my focus is Sharon Kane’s YA-oriented book (for one review, tinyurl.com/ycghy26 As that review suggests, one of the big stumbling blocks for getting trade non-fiction into classrooms is simply that teachers are not aware of the books, are not sure how to use them, don’t know whether or how they would fit with the curriculum. Kane’s book should be especially useful to teachers like that (or school librarians who know there are such teachers in their school) because it talks about a great many individual books, but also offers insight into genres, tools for how to use the books, lesson plan ideas, etc. The only frustrating part is that it is so useful that one wishes it could be updated instantly and include every possible book – it serves as the midpoint between the book trade authors right and the needs of schools, teachers, school libraries
I wish there were an ongoing webinar where authors could send books to Sharon + (a team of Sharons) who would evaluate books as they come out, and either add them to an existing genre file complete with classroom materials, or create new categories to house them. Of course that would also mean the evaluators would need the space, and authority, either to not comment on books or to focus on what is not working — otherwise the site would just be a form of promotion. What educators need is evaluation.
But can’t you picture that matchmaker pace — that site that would take what we create as individual author creations and marry those titles to needs, uses, strategies — complete again with pros and cons. It would be the eharmony of trade books and teachers — finding the true heart match for singles too busy to date on their own.