In this program, students connect family and consumer sciences topics to independent reading opportunities. The same structure could be used in other disciplines, as well. Family and consumer sciences courses are developed around real and ongoing concerns of families and communities, and they include concepts for resolving these concerns through ethical action. As a part of a semester-long program, learners talk about teen mental health concerns and spend time in the library reading fiction and nonfiction about their chosen topic.
Family and Consumer Sciences
Family and consumer sciences teachers
Learners will select personally engaging books around a chosen teen mental health topic
Learners will engage in periods of sustained reading of free choice books
A variety of comfortable spaces for reading
Once class period a week for a semester
AASL National School Library Standards
V.A.2. Reflecting and questioning assumptions and possible misconceptions.
V.C.1. Expressing curiosity about a topic of personal interest or curricular relevance.
In their family and consumer sciences class, students will choose a teen mental health topic that they would like to explore further.
Develop a list of book recommendations for these topics. You can create a display of the books, make an online list, or use another strategy to share the recommendations in the library.
At the first library visit, explain expectations to the class. During the class, they will have the opportunity to choose books—fiction and nonfiction—that align with their selected mental health topic and then engage in independent reading.
Share the list and/or display of recommended books and offer individualized coaching to students to help them select books that will be engaging for them.
Each week students return to the library with their class, settle in, and begin to read silently.
Tell students that they can check-in with you to discuss what they are reading or get assistance with selecting another book.
Every three weeks, students should fill out an exit slip that asks how the reading is going and what additional support they need to be successful.
At the end of the semester, offer support to the family and consumer sciences teacher for the formal assessment that takes place in the classroom by adding questions that help students reflect on what they gained from their independent reading on the topic of their choice.
Work with students as needed to facilitate choices at appropriate reading levels or provide materials in other formats, such as audio books and eBooks.
Use periodic exit slips throughout the semester; support the classroom teacher in their formal assessment as needed.