YA Supplemental Texts Brochure
English teacher Kim Herzog on why young adult literature matters in the classroom:
As a veteran English teacher, I have watched my students change with the world around them. Given their evolution, I have found it more and more important to find texts that mirror their voices and diversity. It is through young adult literature that my students find protagonists who are reflections of themselves, both physically and metaphorically. That is not to say that I have given up teaching the canon in favor of more contemporary voices. Instead, I have realized the necessity of pairing classics with newer young adult titles. Through the creative integration of these texts into my curriculum, I have seen the engagement of my students surpass my expectations.
Pairing core texts with books featuring YA voices through book clubs, literature circles, and independent reading provides chances for contemporary voices to enter the classroom conversation, allowing for comparative analyses in writing, sketch notes, and other creative assignments that explore thematic landscapes. Students can also apply critical lenses while reading YA texts to see, for instance, the social and historical effects of the time in which the books were written on their messages. Textual comparisons can allow you and your students to explore what it means for a book to be timeless, which books should be included in the canon, and whether these newer texts will stand the test of time. Integrating YA breathes new life into curricula, allowing for added opportunities to engage even the most reticent learners.