Exploring Relationships and Connections to Others
Teaching Universal Themes through Young Adult Novels
Mike P. Cook, Leilya A. Pitre
Exploring Relationships and Connections to Others: Teaching Universal Themes through Young Adult Novels offers readers opportunities to explore the most common universal themes taught in secondary English Language Arts classrooms using contemporary young adult literature. Authors discuss adolescence and adolescent readers, young adult literature and its possibilities in the classroom, and ways to teach thematic analysis. The book provides context, traditional approaches to teaching, and examples of thematic explorations of each of the chosen themes. Chapters include developed teaching instructional units to study four universal themes: love and loss; friendship and betrayal; hate, its destructive consequences, and healing; and dreams and hope for tomorrow. Each instructional unit includes rationale, essential questions and objectives, calendar plans for up to five weeks, examples of introductory, reading and discussing, and enrichment activities and assessments. The activities target academic skills for ELA curricula and create safe spaces for exploring topics of relationships and connections to others, both of which are vital to adolescent growth and development. Each instructional chapter suggests a wide range of additional texts and resources for theme explorations.