8th Grade Language Arts – Gender in Literature

“All children, except one, grow up” begins J.M. Barrie’s Peter Pan. How does Peter’s eternal boyhood, and Wendy’s pretense as his mother, shape our expectations of what is means to be a boy or a girl? These are the cirtical thinking questions Ms. Puleo’s students tackle in “Little Women and Lost Boys,” one of three Language Arts electives in grade 8. Throughout this course, students survery important works of literature for young adults throughout the past century and a half, examine literary criticism, and evaluate the messages texts send readers about gendered role expectations.  By the time students are rehearsing their lines for their upcoming Hebrew production of Peter Pan this spring, they’ll already be experts at reading between the lines as well!