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Common Core And The Literary Classics: Supplementing Our Kids Education (By An Avowed Jane Austenophile)

Original post made by Erin Glanville, another community, on Dec 6, 2013

Jane Austen has become quite popular in the past decade—at least commercially. When I see Jane Austen stationary at Paper Source, I know she has joined the ranks of the Eiffel Tower, Union Jack and Dr. Who in ubiquity. Yet I don't have the sense that most young people are actually reading any of Jane Austen's six books… or other classics for that matter. They've seen Colin Firth and Kate Winslet portray Austen's characters on screen. And while I love (and I do mean love) Colin Firth, seeing a movie is not the same thing as reading Austen's actual, incredibly beautiful, smart and engaging words. Not even close.

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Posted by Paly Parent
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Dec 7, 2013 at 8:55 am

It is such a shame that our students don't read more Austen, Dickens, etc. and for the younger crowd Anne of Green Gables and Little Women. There is history in these books and good writing techniques. When we criticize the poor writing abilities of our students on one hand, we have to look at their reading material. To be a good writer, they need to be good readers to understand what good writing is all about. By improving their reading selections to material with good grammar, sentence building and vocabulary, they will start writing better as a consequence. So much of the reading material I have seen has poor English that it is hard for them to understand what good writing is all about.

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Posted by C
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Dec 7, 2013 at 9:32 am

Don't be too quick to judge. I'm 17, a senior, and I've read Pride and Prejudice, Oliver Twist, and several of the Anne of Green Gables books. I never read Wuthering Heights or Little Women because I was warned against them. With that said, it did take quite a bit of prodding from my parents to get me to read those books, but some people - several of my friends among them - take it upon themselves to read everything from Dickens to Tolstoy.
PS I've never seen more than a glimpse of either of those movies... from what I heard the P&P movie was awful.

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