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Lesson Plan

Joining the Conversation about Young Adult Literature

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Joining the Conversation about Young Adult Literature

Grades 9 – 12
Lesson Plan Type Standard Lesson
Estimated Time Four 50-minute sessions
Lesson Author

Jennifer Buehler, Ph.D.

Jennifer Buehler, Ph.D.

St. Louis, Missouri


National Council of Teachers of English



Featured Resources

From Theory to Practice



In this lesson, students create a persuasive case calling for the adoption of a particular young adult literature title into their school's language arts curriculum. They then present their argument in the form of a letter or speech addressing school decision-makers such as the English department chair or the language arts curriculum coordinator. The lesson includes research on a chosen title, development of a well-reasoned argument supported with evidence, and interaction with a real-world audience.

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Persuasion Map: Have students use this interactive graphic organizer to map out their arguments calling for the adoption of a particular young adult literature title into their school's language arts curriculum.

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Alfred Tatum argues that high school students are frequently not well-served by the literary texts they read in school.  Tatum urges teachers to "reconceptualize how texts are selected," in part by "tak[ing] stock of the types of texts that adolescents find meaningful and significant" (83-84).  Similarly, P. L. Thomas recommends "expand[ing] the selection of text among all involved in the teaching-learning process" as a way to promote critical literacy (82).  Involving students in the selection of classroom texts gives them an opportunity to act on their existing knowledge and experience as readers.  By advocating for specific young adult literature titles, students can assist in expanding the curriculum with relevant new literature and take an active role in shaping their literacy learning. 

Further Reading

Tatum, Alfred W. "Adolescents and Texts." English Journal 98.2 (2008): 82-85.


Thomas, P. L. "Challenging Texts." English Journal 98.1 (2008): 81-84.


Buehler, Jennifer. "Ways to Join the Living Conversation about Young Adult Literature." English Journal. 98.3 (2009): 26-32.

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