These two articles talk about how the “Shifts in ELA/Litearcy” initiated by the Common Core Standards will require that teachers spend less time on “esoteric literary terms” and more time on “pivotal and commonly found words … such as “discourse,” “generation,” “theory,” and “principles.” As we discussed in class when we were learning the standards of the Massachusetts framework for English/Language Arts curriculum, the new standards call for more “informational texts” (70% of the curriculum) rather than fictional texts. In other words, the new standards are discouraging the teaching of literature, the love of which, ironically, is what inspired many English teachers to choose their profession in the first place.
As we are starting our first day of reading Hunger Games, I’m starting to see why incorporating texts such as these might be important in English classrooms. If we can’t teach literature in the classroom, then we need to focus on making our students enjoy fictional literature on their own. Twilight…oops, I mean, Hunger Games … as a highly engrossing piece of popular literature, is perfect for this aim.