What DO High School Students Like to Read in the English Classroom?
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Students in America today need to read different kinds of literature in order to know and understand American culture and society. Students need to read first-hand accounts of what happened in their country’s history in order to understand why things happen today. This is important because as they grow older and become more involved in society, they can reflect on the mistakes of the past, as well as the accomplishments, and make changes for a better society. They need to be able to and want to read the newspaper, magazines, and books in order to know what happens in the world. That is why schools require them to take English classes. Too many times, I have observed students not engaged in a lesson. They simply look and sound bored and would rather do anything else. Unfortunately, I have found that I cannot always teach something that is interesting to everyone. Consequently, I wanted to research how to make required texts interesting to my students. Since English is a core subject in all high school curricula, engaging the students becomes increasingly important I do not want to just teach what the curriculum requires and forget about whether the students actually learn English. I want to be the kind of teacher that finds topics that students enjoy and which connect across the curriculum. I want my students to know that there are reasons for reading and writing other than just because it is required of them. They need to understand that reading and writing is not always a tedious task and can be fun as well. I want to learn how to pass on my passion for literature. This way, when someone says, “Have you read the New York Times’ latest number one bestseller?” my students can answer, “YES!” The focus of my interest is in the generative topic: how can we get kids interested in English, particularly when it is a required class? This research project shows what I learned throughout my study.