The thing about stories is that they retell all on their own through what we read, hear, and tell. To adequately improve reading comprehension, one reads. It helps to have a guide, and thanks to the Internet and the fabulous watered down curriculum, I have everything I need to teach: links, 100 page guides, teacher guides, powerpoints, and a sad, sad retelling. A retelling that no student or teacher would parse those robust ELA words like “cold”, “capricious,” “calculating,” and “cruel” from the district’s retelling of the “epic” battle of Rikki-Tikki-Tavi and Nagaina. Maybe that’s the point (to not replicate another feminine demon?). And after three days of graphic organizers and questions that loop about the point in the roundabout, convoluted way, I told students to submit their work. Let’s read the actual story.
It’s a humid Monday morning, the week before Halloween. I’ve been planning the stories I wish my students to read, hear, and tell, so that maybe one day soon in discussion I’ll hear those robust ELA words like “cold”, “capricious,” “calculating,” and “cruel.” And I’ll be able to counter them–as Nagaina would do for her children. Or better yet, my own students will counter them with new words of their time, place, and setting; but that’s another story.