Summer reading: One option or many?
Eat. Relax. Sleep. Repeat. This is the daily routine of countless Conant High School students during their summer break, which is a time when students should be having fun. However, many of them still have school work to complete in the form of summer reading. Students get to choose what they read unless they are taking an accelerated or AP English class. The students who are enrolled in these classes don’t get a choice, so naturally the question arises: Is it unfair to certain students and should they have more of a summer reading selection?
The Medicine You Have to Take
By Michelle Zhang
Position: No, there should not be options for summer reading.
As much as students may not enjoy only being given one choice, I believe that it is necessary for students. It is similar to having to take medicine even though it may taste horrible.
If students are offered options for summer reading, many people may choose the book that they find the easiest. Even if all the books were of similar difficulty, many of the students would chose the book that is closest to their comfort level. In this way they wouldn’t be challenging themselves as much as they do when they are only given one option, which forces them to go out of their comfort zone.
Furthermore, if students are given options, many of them may be reluctant to explore different genres. As a result, they would get less exposure to the variety of genres in the world of literature. All of this would take away from the students’ growth in literature, and their growth is the main purpose of summer reading.
In addition, the first quarter of the accelerated and AP English classes are spent covering the summer reading book. If students were to be given the option of a variety of novels, it would be very difficult for teachers to create a curriculum that covers multiple books at the same time. Only being given one option would allow the teachers to go more in depth and give the students a better understanding of the book. Although many students do not enjoy being forced to read a certain book, it is the medicine they will have to take for their own well-being.
An Easier Pill To Swallow
By Arisha Rizvi
Position: Yes, there should be choices for summer reading.
Having to do any summer work in general can be a pain and many kids cheat their way through it. I believe that providing summer reading choices to students is an overall beneficial idea. If teachers offered students options rather than having one required reading, it might put at ease the pressure of summer reading. Students still have to read over the summer, but having choices would make summer reading easier pill to swallow.
Many argue that requiring students to read a certain book forces them to focus on one genre. However, giving choices can achieve the same goal. Teachers could target a specific genre and in that genre they could provide options. This way they would be challenging students and cater to students’ tastes in literature.
It might be hard for the teachers to create a curriculum based on different novels, but it also would be beneficial for the students to analyze their novels together and perhaps compare and contrast. This would allow students to learn about different books and analyze literature in a different perspective. Overall, allowing students to have somewhat of a choice in their summer reading would help students be more encouraged to read over the summer.
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