There is a growing number of young people for whom experience remains limited. Within this group superficiality is rampant, pride nonexistent, and depression palpable. These students are adamant nonreaders. They try our patience, make us feel inadequate, and test (to the limits) our abilities as teachers. I believe that reading leads to refinement of understanding and that to freedom of thought. Ultimately reading hints at personal possibilities. Nonreaders must, once again, be encouraged to read. This unit is conceived with these students in mind. I hope that the topic itself, the ghost story, will provide a “hook” or a successful way of introducing literature and reading to my students.
The ghost story should be orally introduced to students. A suitable setting or ambiance should be created for the ghost-story telling experience in order to promote student reaction. If student passivity can be overcome, curiosity and interest will evolve. It seems to me that the topic of ghosts and ghost stories is inherently interesting to children and, for that matter, to adults. There are few of us who have not heard ghost stories told at one time or another. We reacted with fear, wonder, or skepticism, but we reacted nonetheless. I hope that this introductory plan will kick off discussion with regard to the ghost story’s form, theme(s), and its reactive qualities. Story suggestions for this first oral reading can be found in the student bibliography.
The main body of this unit will consist of three sections. These sections will build on one another; that is, students will be eased into more sophisticated reading/thinking experiences as the unit progresses.