Teaching the Selected Works of Gary Paulsen (Young Adult Novels in the Classroom Series)

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"Over a writing career of forty-plus years, Gary Paulsen has published over 200 books. He has tried virtually everything in writing. Yet in all the variety, there are noticeable patterns in his work. An advantage of using Paulsen in the classroom is that the patterns are visible and common, and even fairly young readers will notice them. These patterns uncover some of what we want to teach students about both the pleasures and the intricacies of good literature."

Gary Salver knows that no reading of Paulsen the writer is complete without reference to Paulsen the adventurer. In Teaching the Selected Works of Gary Paulsen, Salvner shows you how the themes of Paulsen's colorful life become discernible patterns in his writings.

Salvner brings alive many voices in this book. His email correspondence with Paulsen himself is quoted extensively, offering insights never heard before. Teachers who have successfully brought Paulsen's work to their students share their reflections. Even the words of students who make new discoveries about literature and the world around them are found all through Salvner's book.

Salvner shows teachers how literature circles and reading/writing workshop can work in tandem with Paulsen's writing to teach everything from point-of-view as a literary device to multiculturalism and identity. In each chapter Salvner presents a number of Paulsen's writings, offering an overview of storylines and suggested teaching techniques.

You'll find classroom-tested units of study, and individual lessons and activities to teach a range of themes and patterns:

The Survival Theme

The Coming of Age Theme

The Social Justice and Multicultural Theme

Recurring Character Types

Recognizable Style Features

In Teaching the Selected Works of Gary Paulsen you'll find a variety of approaches to teaching reading, writing, and literary analysis through the work of a well-recognized master of young adult literature.

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Editorial Reviews

VOYA - Lucy Schall
This blending of research and application demonstrates how Paulsen's works and consequently other quality young adult literature support curriculum goals and improve literacy. Salvner briefly describes Paulsen's colorful life, which grounds his stories, and then he gives an overview of themes and patterns for examination. This setup is followed by a chapter in which a seventh grade teacher builds a survival unit with The Hatchet books and includes pre-reading, writing, discussion, literature circles, and projects. An eighth grade teacher, uses The Monument to focus on authenticity, the relationship of art and writing to an audience, and the importance of artistic creation. Paulsen's novel is the base for exploring character, plot, and style. The students then independently pursue "self-selected reading and writing experiences." In chapter four, tenth graders explore identity and multicultural themes with The Crossing and analyze three other multicultural Paulsen selections in subsequent literature circles that culminate in PowerPoint presentations. Chapter five suggests additional patterns: the mentor character, stylistic elements, and humor. The author invites the reader to transfer these suggestions to other works and authors. Adequate summaries and commentary accompany each teaching description. Salvner's combination of the creative, practical, innovative, and traditional acknowledges a wide range of teaching styles that can achieve mandated goals. His book is a wonderful introduction for new teachers, a refreshing look at alternatives for experienced ones, and a coherent and cogent presentation for administrators who question the place of young adult literature in a traditionalcanon-focused curriculum. Reviewer: Lucy Schall
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Product Details

Meet the Author

Gary Salvner, a former elementary and secondary school teacher, is a professor of English education and chair of the English department at Youngstown State University. He teaches courses in young adult and children's literature, English methods, and composition, and codirects the YSU English Festival, a nationally recognized program for encouraging and rewarding reading and writing among young people. Salvner is also a former president of ALAN and a former Ohio College English Language Arts Educator of the Year.

Virginia Monseau is Professor Emerita of English at Youngstown State University, where she taught graduate and undergraduate courses in young adult literature, children's literature, composition, and English methods. She has published numerous books, articles, and reviews on young adult literature and the teaching of literature. A former high school teacher, she is a past editor of English Journal and a past president of ALAN, NCTE's Assembly on Literature for Adolescents. The series editor of Heinemann's Young Adult Novels in the Classroom Series, Monseau is also the author of Teaching the Selected Works of Robert Cormier (2007).

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Table of Contents

Acknowledge xi

1 Gary Paulsen-Writer and Adventure 1

2 Hatchet and Brian Books: Paulsen's Tales of Survival 6

3 The Monument: Gary Paulsen in a Workshop Classroom 26

4 The Crossing and Other Multicultural Books: Learning About Self and Others 42

5 Other Patterns, Other Teaching 63

Chronology: Gary Paulsen's Selected Works 78

Works Cited 81

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