Which of NPR’s top 100 science fiction and fantasy books should you read?
Reading is a very useful skill, and it is even more useful to enjoy it. Because nearly everything involves reading it is important to enjoy it. One can learn a lot about anything by simply picking up a book or opening a webpage and reading. But because it is forced, many people don’t enjoy it. Everyone has different interests, and when forced to read something that doesn’t match their interests, they don’t enjoy the entire process. It is important to expose your students to all kinds of literature, but why not figure out a way to let them have more of a choice?
One idea (that I have not implemented but once I get into the classroom I would like to explore), would be to assign various genres, but let the students choose the book. One way to help the students choose a Science Fiction book is this flowchart of NPR’s top 100 books in this genre. The students start at the beginning, answer questions, and then arrive at their book that will match them.
There should be a few criteria. The students must choose one of certain books on a list that the teacher has read, allowing the teacher to discuss them with the student. Also, the students must choose books that a few other students choose. Discussing the book will be very helpful to the students reading. Help them create a reading plan, and questions that will wrap around the book. Then, give them the freedom to follow this. This will require a lot of trust in your students, but the more trust you give your students, hopefully the more responsibility they will take.