chapter  8
20 Pages

Working with big texts

The moment when Scout Finch realises that her night-time rescuer is none other than Boo Radley, the man she taunted for years, is an annual delight for me. However many times I read it aloud to Year 10, Scout’s “Hey, Boo” brings a catch to my throat, as so many of the book’s pressures are gently and astonishingly released, and the pupils realise, one by one, what’s happened. Shared moments like that remain central to the life of a classroom. Listening together to a novel may be as close as some of your pupils get to the enhancing experience of being in a theatre audience, of being an individual and part of a community at the same time. That on its own is sufficient to underwrite the survival of the class reader.