Calling all readers! Bring your friends, bring your students, and answer this simple question in the comments. (This is a great warm-up activity for your students, by the way.)
Do you agree with the following statement?
“If some curriculum guide you were handed says ‘This Text Was Deemed To Be ‘Close Reading Worthy’ but you find your soul wilting as you read it, then it is not worth reading. Your enthusiasm and wonder matters.”
This is a tiny portion of Chris Lehman’s recent blog post on close reading, and it’s not a central claim of his post by any means. But this line, in my opinion, captures the zeitgeist of many in the choice-only camp of ELA teachers, and I’d simply love to hear whether you, dear reader, agree that if we (as teachers or as students) find a text soul-wilting, it’s not worth reading.
To pose the question another way: does a text’s worth come from the reader or from the text itself?
This is central to the Common Core debate, so bring your passion in your responses, and I promise to bring mine, too 🙂
State your stance! Explain yourself! And if you haven’t yet, check out one of Chris’ books — he is a good guy, and I want to meet him someday, and I respect and subscribe to his blog.
P.S. This conversation (or dare I say debate?) has been spurred on by the great thinking at Chris’ blog-a-thon, “We are Closely Reading #CloseReading.”