This semester, students in READ 6310 Children’s and Adolescent Literature were asked to contribute a post to this blog.
By Jennifer Farias
Reading to young children provides the foundation to create a love for reading. I strongly agree that children that are read to by their parents have a higher reading performance as opposed to those parents who don’t read to them. Children need to be exposed to a rich filled literacy environment in order to be successful readers. It is crucial that we emerge our students into literacy at a young age if we want them to be successful and productive. Literacy helps children expand their vocabulary and acquire new terminology. Children that are exposed to reading at a young age should obtain a desire to read later in life.
I believe reading books to children during read alouds is a wonderful experience that nourishes literacy development. Parents and educators can help facilitate the child and relate the events in the story to real life situations in their lives. This makes the child to make a connection to the text and it is easier for the child to comprehend the material.
Creating a full, rich literacy environment stimulates children’s imagination. Read alouds promote children to learn to visualize the stories. I also believe that allotting from twenty to thirty minutes daily will result in gains in both reading comprehension and oral language. Exposure to storybooks has proven that it develops children’s knowledge and ability to comprehend.
As a classroom teacher I encourage and promote literacy in my classroom daily. As a thinking map trainer, I make every effort to motivate and simplify the use of graphic organizers daily. This past week my students read the story Seven Spools of Thread: A Kwanzaa Story by Angela Shelf Medearis, which allowed them to use the opportunity to utilize graphic organizers in conjunction with thinking maps. Thinking maps provide that visual tool which students can use to simplify and organize the ideas to enhance learning.
I have some examples of student work that I would like to share. The first example is the Flow Map which students are able to organize the story in sequence: beginning, middle, and end. They are required to write and illustrate their thoughts at this time.
My final example is the Bubble Map in which students describe a main character using adjectives.At this pointstudents will require to add textual evidence and justification as to why they used those particular adjectives.
I have seen firsthand that graphic organizers can help students better comprehend their reading assessments. The goal is to have students attain a love for reading and read for pleasure.
I am a firm believer that students who are exposed to literature are likely to supersede than those with a limited exposure to reading material.