Do you think that fantasy and science fiction books, like Harry Potter, The Hunger Games and the hundreds of age appropriate books and series, should be a part of standard curriculum or read as optional pleasure/summer reading books?
Although I love science fiction books, I do not believe that they should be a part of the standard curriculum because some parents may not be comfortable with their children reading about magic or self-sacrifice. In public schools teachers need to be extremely cautious about what they require from students and what is optional because you never want to force a child to read something that their religion is against or that their parents do not approve of. Including these types of books in your classroom library or as a suggested summer reading book would be better because the students who want to read it can, and the students who do not can choose something else.
Would you assign and teach fantasy and sci-fi books in your middle school/ high school classroom? If yes, explain why and which book(s) would you assign and to what grade? If no, explain why and what type of books would you focus on instead?
I would have to strategically pick which books I would feel comfortable teaching in my classroom because of the reasons I have stated above. I would not teach Harry Potter books, but I would love to assign The Giver and Feed to my students because these novels really make you think about life in a whole new way. I believe that these stories would generate great class discussions without conflicting with any of the students’ religious beliefs. I would probably assign these books to a tenth grade class because the ideas in each novel are very complex and younger readers would probably not be able to analyze them as well.