I think that fantasy and science fiction books should absolutley be included in the classroom when appropriate for the age group. Part of the obligation of a teacher of literature is at minimum introductions to all types of literature. Thus, there should be some sort of instruction on this genre. As we were able to read in the assigned readings for the module fantasy and fairy tale stories are able to show students important lessons. These lessons that the stories so often communicate to students are worthwhile for the overall benefits of the student. Knowing this, how can anyone say that these shouldn't be included in school reading curriculums?!
I think the stigma that series like Harry Potter shouldn't be read in schools stems from the thought that they are books to "read for enjoyment." Why reading for enjoyment isn't "allowed" in the classrooms for some districts is beyond my comprehension abilities. I can't fathom why the heck we would not allow a student to engage in reading something he WANTS to!?
For middle school and high school students I would for sure include fantasy/ science fiction novels or readings. During this "awkward" stage of life kids are really starting to start trying to find themselves, and I think exposure to a plethora of things, even in reading, will help nourish that state of mind. Kids may find interest in reading the genre or may find a topic through the novel that they may not have picked up elsewhere that could really interest them. And as a teacher, it is your job to help students learn and grow, so I think exposure to new things such as the genres of science fiction and fantasy would help accomplish this for many students. Books that I may include in this instruction might be:
- Life as We Knew It --I read this in 8th grade and I still absolutely love it and would reccomend it to anyone (hint: go read it!!!!!)
- City of Bones
- City of Ashes
- Farehnheit 451
- Tunnels (I spent last semester tutoring a 6th grade student and reading was something she struggled with and getting her to actually read was quite the challenge to say the least. However, she found this book and read it in a week--she LOVED it, and her parents and I were beyond impressed with how much it grabbed her attention!)
- Freefal (The same reason for Tunnels-I think this is a sequel!)
- Z for Zacharia