I think I found the solution to getting kids to read boring, but historically important pieces of literature: turn them into Mad Libs.
No kid wants to sit through these tragic and dense tomes, but they must be taught because they’re historically important and still relevant. So we’ve reached this sort of culturally understanding between students and teachers where the books are assigned, but it’s fine to skim it, read the first chapter and that’s good, grab the CliffsNotes, or simply read the description on back.
But if we turned these important books into Mad Libs, kids would love it. Because now you could make your own diary of Anne Frank. It would be fun, it would be interactive and it would be creative. All while getting the important message across. Or at least you would know the kid had read the book. Let’s try it out:
“It’s a wonder I haven’t abandoned all my _______ (pl. noun), they seem so absurd and ______ (adjective). Yet I ____ (verb) to them because I still believe that people are truly good at _____ (body part). It’s impossible for me to _____ (verb) my life on a _______ (noun) of chaos, _____ (noun) and death. I see the _____ (place) being slowly transformed into a ______ (noun), I ____ (verb) the approaching thunder that, one day, will destroy us too, I feel the suffering of _____ (number). And yet, when I look up at the sky, I somehow _____ (verb) that everything will _____ (verb) for the better, that this _____ (noun) too shall end, that peace and _____ (noun) will return once more.”