Last night I attended Parent-Teacher night with my eighth grade son. It was depressing.
For two hours, I, my son, and several hundred other parents were herded from classroom to classroom where we were introduced to the variety of TEKS tests our children would endure this year. TEKS, the acronym for the assessment “Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills,” will measure students’ ability to take tests. Honestly, that’s what it boils down to. The four areas of “knowledge” they will assess are math, science, history, and social studies. Writing, and critical thinking, apparently, are not deemed “essential.”
Now, I realize teachers only have ten minutes to address each class. They were dead tired, as was I. But you know, in each ten minute session, ALL I heard was due dates for tests and the breakdown of grades. In not a single class was there any excitement about the curriculum, no discussion of new ideas or interesting projects… nothing.
DISCLAIMER: If you are a student assigned to read any of the following classics in school, you should ABSOLUTELY read them all the way through! Not only are they classics for a reason, but that’s your job as a student, and as members of the educational community we would be remiss if we didn’t point that out.
If you are, on the other hand, one of the 62% of adults who are simply willing to lie to make themselves appear smarter, well then this article is for you!
That’s right, roughly 6 out of 10 adults claim to have read books they’ve never even opened in an effort to appear more intelligent and impress others. How do they get away with it? Mostly through movie adaptations. But why rely on a director’s interpretation of Great Expectations when walking into the potentially vicious traps set by your dinner party counterparts? I mean, if you really want to get serious about appearing smarter, you’ll have to study with some study guides. And what a surprise–we just so happen to have some of those!
The top ten books people claim to have read, but haven’t, are:
1984 by George Orwell – 26%
War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy – 19%
Great Expectations by Charles Dickens – 18%
Catcher in the Rye by J D Salinger – 15%
A Passage to India by E M Forster – 12%
Lord of the Rings by J R R Tolkein – 11%
To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee – 10%
Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky – 8%
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen – 8%
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë – 5%
Be serious about appearing smarter: study smarter. Never walk into a dinner party unprepared again!
Here at eNotes, we publish new lesson plans and response journals for teachers all the time. Check out our latest additions below! And remember, these items are free for download with your subscription to the eNotes Teacher’s Edition.
(eNotes lesson plans have been written, tested, and approved by working classroom teachers. The main components of each plan include an in-depth introductory lecture, discussion questions, vocabulary lists, chapter-based questions, essay prompts and a multiple-choice test. They also offer complete answer keys for the instructor.)
Jane Eyre (174 pages)
Things Fall Apart (85 pages)
Death of a Salesman (47 pages)
New Response Journals:
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The Hunger Games (26 pages)
Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry (20 pages)
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That’s right, one day soon lucky Kerouac fans will be able to read the Beat writer’s seminal work, accompanied by some very cool drawings–one for each of its 300+ pages, in fact. Rogers selects his favorite passages and draws an accompanying pic. Check out a selection of some of the best below. To see the progress of the project thus far, see Paul Rogers’ blog entries for On The Road: Illustrated here!