glorybee wrote:The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn was another one that I loved reading aloud to my students. So much fun!
That must have been interesting with 200-some occurrences of the n-word.
We always preceded our Huck Finn unit with a frank discussion of the n-word and historical context. The students were very mature about it, every year. My co-teacher and I said that we would say it when we were reading aloud, to be true to the novel and its time. We also emphasized that neither of us would ever use that word on our own, and we often ended up discussing other subjects like racism, censorship, etc. We always gave them the option, for when they were reading out loud--read the word or say a substitute. Either choice was acceptable, according to their own comfort levels. Finally, we made it clear that there was to be no inappropriate snickering, emphasis, or anything else potentially offensive in their classroom behavior. Oh, and we sent notes home to the parents with the discussion points, too, welcoming their input. Never once did we have to deal with anything inappropriate, nor with upset parents. I was proud of the 9th graders, every time.