Top Ten Tuesday: Up For Grabs!

TTT is hosted by the Broke and the Bookish each week.

This week is a freebie, so the topic that I've chosen is:

Top Ten Texts (Poems, Stories, Essays, Novels, Etc) That I Assign to My Students:

10.  "The Colonel" by Carolyn Forche:  This is a great poem to assign to students because of its shocking imagery, and because it is great for studying biographical criticism.
9. Lauren Greenfield photography (especially Girl Culture):  I used to do a lesson on thesis statements using postcards from a Lauren Greenfield show.  I love to use visual texts to practice analysis, and her photos are so provocative.
8. Mark Edmundson, "On the Uses of  Liberal Education" (originally from Harper's):  I used this in an honors class as part of the final, and I often have students read it at the end of the semester as part of a reflection essay.
7. Billy Collins, "Osso Buco":  I use this poem when I am teaching description to exemplify sensory detail.  I think it is beautiful.
6. Horace Miner, "Body Ritual Among the Nacirema":  This is a great one for the beginning of the semester to talk about cognitive dissonance and different ways of seeing.
5.  Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid's Tale:  There is just so much in this book to talk and write about.  And beyond that, it is an amazing piece of writing.
4. Dark Days:  This documentary about a community in an abandoned subway tunnel is really excellent.  I did a documentary analysis assignment for years, and this is the one that my students really reacted to.
3.  Sean Huze, The Sandstorm:  The focus of my ENG 102 class was on war literature for a while.  I saw Sean Huze read his play and was totally moved by it.  I wanted to share it with my students.  Warning:  it is brutal.
2. "A Modest Proposal" by Jonathan Swift:  I love teaching satire, and this is the ultimate.  I have fun teaching it to my college students, but also to jr. high and high schoolers.
1. Tim O'Brien, The Things They Carried:  Not only is it one of my favorite books, but it is wonderful to teach.  Tim O'Brien is a master of language and meaning.

If you teach, what are some of your favorite texts?  If not, what are some of the things that really left their mark on you as a student?


  1. I just read "Osso Bucco" and I LOOOOVE it as I love so many of Billy Collins' poems.

    Some faves of mine for my students:
    "My Mother Never Worked" by Bonnie Smith-Yackel
    "The Queen of Mold" by Ruth Reichl
    "August 2026: There Will Come Soft Rains" by Ray Bradbury
    FEED by MT Anderson

  2. Great idea! I did A Modest Proposal last year and it turned into this huge thing about ME eating BABIES! The kids even bought me a pin that said it, haha.


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