On this page you will find excerpts from two literacy-related articles previously posted on the PaperTigers blog.
Books at Bedtime: Win-Win! by Marjorie Coughlan
February 10, 2008
Good literature promotes literacy. Reading to children promotes literacy. Promoting a love of books through the example of reading promotes literacy. And sharing a story together, at the end of the day especially, offers a moment of harmony and oasis in family life, which sometimes has to be safe-guarded from the encroachment of action-packed schedules. So all in all, a bedtime story is a win-win scenario, whichever way you look at it!
It can, however, be a daunting prospect for some parents, so today on Books at Bedtime I’d like to focus on two resources which offer parents some tools to help make storytelling a joy for all concerned.
The first is the Storytelling Bibliographies page on The Center for Children’s Books’ website. These booklists encompass stories from all over the world which make great readalouds, arranged by themes such as Phases of the Moon, Tales about Fools, Latino Folktales, Native American Tales and more. The links to Storytelling Websites offer rich scope and I especially like the process advocated here for extending the storytelling experience. Such activities will lead children to love books and to love words themselves… the next generation of storytellers and writers.
And the other resource is Australian writer Mem Fox reading extracts from her book Reading Magic – her web-page And Do It Like This offers a step-by-step guide to reading stories aloud to children. She also has her 10 Read Aloud Commandments. And here’s number 10 :
"Please read aloud every day, mums and dads, because you just love being with your child, not because it’s the right thing to do."
Talking Point: Reading and Being Read to by Aline Pereira
posted on March 10, 2008
Issues of literacy, post-literacy and how words and pictures fit into children’s lives nowadays are frequent topics of discussion in the blogsphere this year, including on our PaperTigers Blog. Since we began blogging some 9 months ago, Marjorie’s Books at Bedtime has been suggesting ways to make reading a vital part of children’s lives. Janet’s The Tiger’s Bookshelf also weighs in on the subject periodically. Readers share their views, and with nary a naysayer to date: it’s not likely that our PaperTigers community would deny the countless benefits of being exposed to books and stories from a very early age!
We can’t teach babies and toddlers language by putting them in front of the TV. Children learn language, and learn to love language, by being spoken with. Words come to have meaning in the context of important relationships (with parents, grandparents, teachers and/or other caring adults.) After a young mind, and (if we are lucky) soul, has been touched in this safe, nurturing context, a love of reading usually follows naturally. Reading aloud to children is a concept most of us espouse. But at the end of the day (quite literally at the end of the day, in many cases), it can be hard to make the time. It is one thing to know the benefits from a daily dose of books and reading and another altogether to see these benefits in action, translated into kids begging to stay up late to finish a book, or to be read “just one more page!” What a joy it is to hear those words! They are a good indicator that a love of language has been born and will keep on manifesting itself into and throughout adulthood.
We all need stories to tell, to listen to, to share. So let the importance of reading in children’s lives be a talking point. One that will continue as long as there are readers and books.
Posted July 2008