How do you choose what readings to assign? Rarely does anyone assign all the readings in the English book. Imagine the Norton Anthology (all 4500 pgs of it) assigned in a sophomore lit class. Not likely.
So, how do you choose readings to assign?
I was going through the new book for my Developmental Writing class. There are 75 possible readings. I couldn’t read them all, obviously. But how did I choose?
Some are too sad. No. If you’ve read the blog for long, you know how I feel about sad endings. I just don’t like them. But I understand that sometimes you must read sad things. See Teaching Literature: Sad vs Funny for how I introduce this topic to my students.
Some are too vulgar. No. I do not feel able to present this reading without offending someone. I am going to stay away from it. It might make for good discussion, but I am not going to have the students read it.
Others, there is vulgarity, but for a point. One speaks of a woman showing off her pubic hair to an older woman as a way of embarrassing the old woman. I’m going to read that one. I think the students will be interested in the older etiquette and it will allow us to talk about social mores and how they differ among cultural groups.
Some I choose because they talk about information the students might not know.
Some because I know other information that might make them even more interesting.
It’s an interesting experience, reading through a text to choose the assigned readings.