July 05, 2009

Using Twilight to teach

Here's a posting about the Twilight series and its appeal to readers of many ages and cultures. It's notable for quoting a Newspaper Rock posting in which a Lakota fan defends Twilight. She says she's on Team Edward, not Team Jacob, despite Jacob's being a fellow Indian.

This posting links to another posting that's a "lesson plan" for using Twilight to teach Native culture, mythology, and geography. Actually, it's only a series of suggestions, not a real lesson plan. For instance, discuss the Quileute Tribe in the Twilight books, then introduce other tribes.

I don't know if anyone is actually teaching Twilight in school. But if millions of kids are reading it, it's not a bad idea. I'm all for using whatever's popular to get people to read and think. That's why I want to do Native-themed comic books.

Of course, Twilight is well down the list of books I'd recommend for schools. Not because it's poorly written, or because of the Quileute werewolves, but because it's a romance. For one thing, boys won't like it as much as girls. For another, the last thing girls need is a Disney-style story telling them to wait for their Prince Charming.

If you ask me, the Harry Potter books would be a better choice. And Hermione would be a better role model for teenage girls than the love-besotted Bella. Any series where the heroine ends up married and pregnant is not a great idea for sexually awakening girls.

Even better than Harry Potter would be a YA series centered around a strong, independent girl. Why? Because boys as well as girls should understand this kind of character.

For more on the subject, see The Best Indian Books.

Below:  "You need someone with brains and a future, girls, not someone with a brooding stare and washboard abs. Forget me and Edward and find yourself a real man."


Anonymous said...

I decided that whenever any tween asks about Twilight, I'm on Team Slash. (Supernatural fans will get the joke.) After all, both Jacob and Edward have more personality than Bella. Granted, things have come out my ass with more personality than Bella, but that's another thing.

Anonymous said...

How about the His Dark Materials books by Philip Pullman? That's a series about a strong, independent (well, for an 11 year old) girl who eventually kills God. Gets a thumbs-up in my book.

Anonymous said...

One more thing: Most fans prefer Jacob. But it's a Mary Sue story, so Sue gets paired with Stu.