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Chief91592

Fantasy in High School

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That's why I'm purposely staying away from the big novels. I'd rather stick with shorter books like The Hobbit. There's more time to analyze in depth.

 

It doesn't particularly have to be Hellboy. Maybe Sandman. In fact, when you get right down to it, most superhero stories are fantasy (Technically sci-fi, but sci-fi, fantasy, horror and mystery are so closely intertwined that they may as well all be one genre). It Tolkein weren't such an elegant wordsmith, I'd even consider using a graphic novel version of The Hobbit.

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What? They don't have anything to do with Vampires. It's a dystopian world where they have Gladiator type games.

 

in this case, i'll have to think about picking up one of the books next year after my reading list is shortened :happy: i'm always looking for new books to read, but right now i've got 6 more WoT books in my re-read, Way of kings, and 6 Warrior books to read after i get done with DwD's.

 

 

What about Artemis Fowl instead of Harry Potter? Fun to read, but not as well known as Harry Potter.

 

i like Artemis Fowl but left it off my list because of how childish it is (i still have to get the newest book too!!) the story is very enjoyable, but it's set more for a 12 yr old reading level rather than Highschool. this is the same reason i left out Fablehaven & Spiderwick as well.

 

 

 

Cheif, if you use an HP book, i'd stick with #3 and above as the first two are aimed at a juvinille audience and don't relaly showcase much of Rowling skill as a writer. CoS you could probably do, especially if your goal is for the kids to find the authors meaning; but the Highschool kids woudl better relate to PoA & above. really, i'd lean more towards OoTP or HBP. granted you'd have to make sure the kids had atleast read of watched the series so they knwo the basic back story; but in these two books Rowling focuses on her main theme (love and all that junk) as well as gives good foreshadowing and character developement.

 

 

i also agree that movies, if you use them, would probably be better used as a Homework assignment. this way you can spend the class hours discussing the material and comparing & contrasting the video/book rather than taking 2-3 days to watch the video and do the discussion.

 

 

 

if your goign to use Graphic Novels, what about EotW or NS from the WoT. both of these could be treated as stand alone for teaching purposes, the series isn't that well known to the younger generation and since your a WoT fan yourself you'd be excited to talk about it. just let them know that they are part of a bigger series before going into it.

 

 

 

 

 

i guess i'd also suggest Ann Rice "Interview with a Vampire" as well. again, its part of a series, but can be treated as a stand alone and has a movie to go with it. theres also King's "Gunslinger" which is the first book in the Dark Tower series. you also have other books by King that can be used, eventhough thats technicallys classified as Horror fiction.

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oh another series i relaly enjoy, but might be too juvinille is called "Warriors" by Erin Hunter. same target audience as Artemis Fowl, but is very enjoyable. the books are short as well, 2-3 days max to finish one with reading a few hours at a time.

 

 

it deals with some adult issues, like death & love, but not on the level as say HP. if you check out the Recomended reading list pinned in this forum, theres a link to the authors website where you can check out more abotu the series.

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Discussing religion in a class isn't the end of the world with someone like Lewis, because he's viewed as one of the top authors throughout history. If I tried to use someone like Ted Dekker, however I'm sure I'd be met with much more criticism, due to him not being one of 'the greats'.

 

I do enjoy Artemis Fowl, but I feel that the series is a bit young (The same reason I'm steering away from the Lost Journals of Ven Polypheme, as much as I love them).

 

I often wonder to myself how well Joseph Delaney's the Last Apprentice would do in a classroom setting. I'm also curious, anyone think I should try Neil Gaiman or Terry Pratchett?

 

And I've never read the Hunger Games. I'll have to add it to the list of things to read.

 

I suppose that's true, about Lewis. I just know that Pullman's books are often seen as promoting atheism while Lewis's are clearly Christian and anytime religion is discussed, whether in school or not, it is really easy to get heated. Again, not saying that it will, but there is that possibility. Plus, if your school is as freaked about parents calling as the schools down here are then lol, expect it.

 

Yeah, I think Artemis would be too young. Also, they get to be a bit of the same after a few books.

 

 

Neil Gaiman would be excellent for high school, actually. He's a phenomenal writer and a lot of his stuff would be easy but interesting enough for high school. Maybe Stardust? The Graveyard Book? Odd and the Frost Giants? Mirrormask?

 

 

I haven't read Last Apprentice yet - you think they are something I should pick up Chief?

 

 

Oh yes, another good series would be the Heir Chronicles by Cinda Williams Chima. Written for young adults, it's a trilogy, has some fantasy aspects (wizards, dragons, magic). I thought they were wonderfully written.

Edited by keyholder21

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yeah i have to agree with Em. you have alot of people now a days that scream about "seperation of chrch & state" if anything christian is brought into school. likely you'll have some nut job of a parent who doesn't understand the true meaning of "seperation of church & state" complain that by using Narnia your pushing religious beliefs on their kids.

 

i'd certantly approach the school board and get their approval before using it.

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The heir series is a good one I had forgotten about. Good call.

 

The rouch list I've worked out was Neil Gaimain's Sandman in it,

 

Delaney's very interesting. He managed to be YA friendly without being childish.

 

And sorry, but I couldn't get through The Gunslinger. It bored me.

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i also agree that movies, if you use them, would probably be better used as a Homework assignment. this way you can spend the class hours discussing the material and comparing & contrasting the video/book rather than taking 2-3 days to watch the video and do the discussion.

 

It's not a viable option. How do twenty highschoolers get their hands on twenty individual copies of a movie. And it's not like it's not literature. Most reading will be done outside of class, but it's simply too expensive for a school district to purchase that many movies.

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some movies most people migh already have, like the Narnia movies or the HP movies. you could take a count and see if all the students have the movies at home and if se then assign it as a homework assignment.

 

 

alot of times, in the first day of class, teachers will do a fun excersice where the students each write a bit about themselves. a couple of the questions you could ask woudl be "what movies that are based off of books do you own" and "what fantasy series do you won or have read" stuff liek that.

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It's not a viable option. How do twenty highschoolers get their hands on twenty individual copies of a movie. And it's not like it's not literature. Most reading will be done outside of class, but it's simply too expensive for a school district to purchase that many movies.

 

I mostly agree with this, although you could always go the route of having a copy or two in your classroom for loan. Like, this needs to be watched before the final, or something like that. You could also speak with your school and public libraries to see if they have a copy/multiple copies.

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The heir series is a good one I had forgotten about. Good call.

 

The rouch list I've worked out was Neil Gaimain's Sandman in it,

 

Delaney's very interesting. He managed to be YA friendly without being childish.

 

And sorry, but I couldn't get through The Gunslinger. It bored me.

 

Thanks! My three years as a YA librarian has paid off a little *laughs*.

 

I actually haven't read Sandman lol, one of the few Gaiman written pieces I haven't. I'll have to add it to my list.

 

I'll add it to my list.

 

I hear ya Chief, me too.

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was talking with Bubba about this over diner and he brought up two good classics.

 

"Wizard of Oz" and "Alice in Wonderland" both of which are under appreciated classics with deep meanings. apparently the meanings are deeply routed in the politics of the WW2 era, so this coudl be right up your alley chef. also, they both have movies that you can use as media to compare and contrast in the class with.

 

i;ve seen the movies, as have 99% of people alive today. but have yet to read the books; i've now added these to my reading list :laugh:

 

 

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oh,. bubba also suggest the "Halo" series, which is based in the universe the xbox games are played in. this is more sci-fy rather than fantasy, but will likely be popular among kids today considering the popularity of the Halo game series among the age rang your indicating.

 

 

other series like this woudl be the Dungeons & Dragons series, which is likely to have kids turn their nose up at becuase when people think of D&D they think RPG. Star Wars also has a series of books based on it, as well. while i'm at it, i'll trhw in Enders Game too.

 

also, there is the Forgotten Realms series, which is alot liek the Star wars series only fantasy based rather than sci-fy.

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was talking with Bubba about this over diner and he brought up two good classics.

 

"Wizard of Oz" and "Alice in Wonderland" both of which are under appreciated classics with deep meanings. apparently the meanings are deeply routed in the politics of the WW2 era, so this coudl be right up your alley chef. also, they both have movies that you can use as media to compare and contrast in the class with.

 

i;ve seen the movies, as have 99% of people alive today. but have yet to read the books; i've now added these to my reading list :laugh:

 

Those two are great suggestions. They may seem a little young, though. Just a warning. In our public library we have them in the "juvenile" section rather than Young Adult.

 

What about Hitchhiker's Guide? They're fun, easy to read, and could possibly provide a lot of discussion. Or are they too out there?

 

How about the Abhorsen trilogy by Garth Nix? In addition to the fantasy element, that could lead to a discussion about a difference in writing/vocabulary between America and Australia.

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Ideas are starting to come together, but I'm working on getting my hands on some of the suggestions in order to make a more informed decision. One thing I don't recall seeing mentioned but I'd think would be a good addition would be Madeleine L'Engle's A Wrinkle in Time. I've also considered possibly showing an episode of Supernatural (If you haven't seen that, check it out. Very fantasy, very interesting, and tons of stuff to analyze).

 

Movies under consideration are Pirates of the Caribbean, The Princess Bride, Aladdin, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and Alice in Wonderland (haven't decided which version of that movie yet).

 

Any other suggestions?

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I know many people have said it but, as its for high school, a must is The Hobbit. Perfect for the age group, I'd suggest that it would b better than LoTR as its easier to read. Has everything you need in fantasy, different cultures(elves, hobbits, dwarves, men), magic, fantasy creatures(dragons, shapeshifting bears), magic items (the ring) and of course treasure

 

I remember doing a project on The Hobbit when i was at High School. Can't remember everythng we did, but 2 assignments i remember exactly were that we had to write a PoV of a soldier from 1 of the armies in the Battle of Five Armies at the end of the book and we had to write our own riddles(Bilbo and Gollums classic scene), which was great fun.

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ASoIaF is definitely too mature for high school kids. Think of all the sex, for one. :P

 

In high school I read the Dragonlance and Forgotten Realms series and Sword of Truth. Not popular choices, I know, and D&D might come off as kind of nerdy, but they're an easy introduction to the genre.

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Sword of Truth is actually worse than aSoIaF IMO, as far as violence/sex goes. At least the bit I read before I found the Lemmings of Discord and chose death.

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Sword of Truth is actually worse than aSoIaF IMO, as far as violence/sex goes. At least the bit I read before I found the Lemmings of Discord and chose death.

True, but as a 16 year old I was told to stop at book 3. :P

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I've put together a list of finalists based on authors, recommendations and length. This needs slight pruning, but I feel that the bulk of what I want to cover is here.

 

Beowulf

Books 9-12 of the Odyssey by Homer (The whole thing's way too long to get through, and I feel you hit the most fantastical stuff in this portion)

A Midsummer Night's Dream by William Shakespeare

The Sword in the Stone by T.H. White (Haven't read it, but Arthurian myth is pretty important. It's on my list)

The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkein

The Hedge Knight by George R.R. Martin (Haven't read it, but Martin's pretty great. I've got Legends on my list, so I'm getting to it)

New Spring by Robert Jordan (On here more for my love of Jordan. Possibly the first thing to be pruned unfortunately. If only he were a bit more concise...)

The Burning Man by Tad Williams (Also haven't read this. I've hear too much good about Williams to leave it off though)

The Sea and the Little Fishes by Terry Pratchett (Dear God. This story has so much greatness in it. It's perfect to be taught in a high school class. I can't wait to hear a class of teenagers analyze that title)

 

Additionally, Sleep of the Just by Neil Gaiman. It's the first of his Sandman comics. Blurs the line between fantasy and horror nicely.

 

Finally, there are four movies/tv shows I'd like to show

 

Aladdin. It's a cartoon, yes, but it's also great fantasy.

The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe. If I don't assign the book, I almost have to show the movie, right?

Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl. I don't think many people think of it as fantasy, but it is.

The Pilot episode of Supernatural. Dear Barbara, there's a whole ton of fantasy in there. It's not just blood and gore.

 

So there's that. Please help me by suggesting what needs to be pruned. Fantasy writers seemingly have the inability to be concise, so I can't include everything I want, but now it's a challenge to you all to delete and modify as you like.

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I would recommend the Belgariad and Mallorian series. Relatable to the age group, easy to read, with a variety of characters, nations, morals, religions, etc. Great series to introduce people new to fantasy fiction.

 

Another series that would be a great discussion is the Shannara series.

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So what would you, as the teacher remove to make room? The easy part was to brainstorm stories and books. The picking and choosing what to use and what to leave out.

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I would definitly cut POTC. Not only because I don't consider it fantasy, but also because much like Harry Potter, it is something most kids would have already seen.

 

I would cut New Spring. While it does work as a standalone, it is primarily aimed at a readerbase already hooked on WOT.

For similar reasons, I would cut Supernatural. Movies are generally self-contained stories, tv-shows quite the contrary.

With Pratchett, i would take something from Discworld instead.

 

Also, something i would include that i forgot to mention, is the brothers Grimms fairy tales. Because of Disney, most kids are quite familiar with several of the stories, so it should be interesting to introduce them to the originals. As they are quite short, it could even work to have them first watch a disney movie, then read the original, and compare the two.

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yeah i agree with Maj about cutting New Spring. for the reasons he said and also that, if your using it as an introduction to the WoT series, it's gogin to turn off more readers than insnare readers imo. when i first picked up the WoT series in 06, i started with the prequel, and ha i not promised Bubba i woudl read the series i'd likely have never picked up EotW because the prequel was so uninteresting to me.

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ASoIaF is definitely too mature for high school kids. Think of all the sex, for one. :P

 

In high school I read the Dragonlance and Forgotten Realms series and Sword of Truth. Not popular choices, I know, and D&D might come off as kind of nerdy, but they're an easy introduction to the genre.

 

Yeah because High School kids never encounter sex anywhere else right?

 

Let's get real, asoiaf is mild compared to what people that age have access to/is exposed to through a myriad of other venues anyway.

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For a high school class I would suggest

 

On a Pale Horse - Piers Anthony

It's fantasy but not your traditional epic fantasy. It's a great novel for teaching the idea of personification. Also it's a great read for that age.

 

The Belgariad - David Eddings

Excellent introductory story for epic fantasy. It hits all the major points of modern Epic fantasy. It's short and has been bundled into a single volume.

 

A Princess Of Mars - Edgar Rice Burroughs

Another non-epic fantasy but excellent for illustrating that not all fantasy has to be swords and sorcery. Many people who have never read it would consider it sci fi but it's a great deal more fantastic than scientific.

 

Wizard Of Oz - Frank L Baum

Possibly the best known non-epic fantasy story.

 

The Graveyard Book - Neil Gaiman

Another not quite epic fantasy. Also there are some nods to the Martian Chronicles which in tandem with the Princess of Mars story could show how modern fantasy builds upon creations of ealier authors.

 

 

 

 

Anyway there are plenty more but those would be my first choices were I to teach a fantasy lit class in highschool

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