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Using a 'whole novels' approach

Give students an authentic literary experience

Ariel Sacks is a 7th grade English teacher in Brooklyn. She uses a 'whole novels' approach to give her students an authentic literary experience. Her way of teaching novels looks at the narrative as a complete work rather than studying it piecemeal.

"Literary fiction ...seeks to create an immersive experience for the reader, but we ... parcel out books in pieces and ask students to analyze them along the way without the ability to understand a work in its entirety. ... Without the entire context, it lacks meaning and can become frustrating. Imagine walking into a movie theater and finding that the movie is switched off every few minutes. Someone in the front of the room asks questions designed to see if you understand what you are seeing and demands that you analyze the clip in front of the other moviegoers. ... It takes 12 hours to get through the entire feature-length film. If this were the norm, would you ever go to the movies?"