September 08

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Reading Should Be Interactive by Chaz Hayden

I have always been a fan of reading, but I really fell in love during 7th grade language arts. It wasn’t just the books we read, although most became lifetime favorites like The Giver and The Westing Game, but it was how my class was taught and immersed in the story.

My teacher, Mr. Rem, made reading interactive by assigning fun and thought-provoking projects. He showed me and all the other students that a story doesn’t just live within the pages of a book. And analyzing themes and characters doesn’t just have to be in the form of a written essay.

Here is a video of me talking about the interactive projects my 7th grade language arts class worked on after reading The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton.


Chaz_HaydenChaz Hayden is a debut author who, like his main character, was diagnosed with spinal muscular atrophy as an infant and spent his childhood in and out of hospitals.
The First Thing About You, he says, is “not just about disability but about friendship and love and all the things that a young person hopes to experience.” Through his writing and his YouTube channel, he speaks with abundant positivity and encourages people to “Be different. Leave a trail.” Chaz Hayden grew up in New Jersey and now lives in Pennsylvania, where he spends too much time thinking about his next tattoo and what concerts to attend. Follow him on Instagram and Twitter @TheChazHayden.