Young Adult Lit/Crit

February 16, 2008

This Makes me Happy :)

Filed under: Uncategorized — allison @ 1:18 pm

Hi Friends!

Look at this great blog– the entry from 2/12 about celebrating readers. Isn’t that a nice idea?The best part of this post is the last paragraph, which I will copy and paste for youL

“When reading centers on student choice, students are more likely to read. Events like Read Across America Day work because they highlight everything that is fun about reading. Readers are encouraged to share and read the texts they love. If every day in the classroom were like Read Across America Day, my hunch is that reading would improve. But in a world of compulsory readings and curriculums decided by textbook publishers, teachers face many challenges. What seems like the most obvious challenge however, readers themselves, is probably the least of our worries. We need to stop blaming the readers and let students help us find“the right book for the right reader at the right time,” as Teri Lesesne says. Maybe then classrooms will be filled with celebrating readers every day—and the reluctant and struggling readers will be a thing of the past.”

I think this touches upon one of the major problems in English classrooms today: we don’t celebrate reading enough. And why shouldn’t we celebrate reading? It’s fun and enriching and opens up so so many possibilities.

Does anyone have a memory of being read to when you were a little kid? Wasn’t it exciting? I remember going to the story hour at my local library in Amherst, NH, where I would get to hear stories and then do a really cool craft or activity afterwards. These crafts or activities were, of course, connected to learning. In fact, the whole  story hour was a learning experience, but it never felt like that. What a concept: learning that feels fun! How can we bring this type of excitement into our classrooms?

Here are some events that have taken place across america for  Read Across America the whole website is full of info for getting into the celebration. Some of it is a little corny, but sometimes I think junior high and high school students like a little corny (even if they won’t admit it) Does anyone have any recollection of celebrating reading during junior high or high school? I think its harder to think of things from these grades then from elementary grades. I remember having poetry readings/ slams in high school. And sometimes in class, after completing a big writing assignment, we would spend the day reading our work to each other. It’s a little reaching, but that’s all I’ve got. Anyone else? As teachers, I think we need to think about starting the celebration…




  1. Allison,

    your post made me smile. I loved your recollection of reading at the local library as a child. Before I began grad school, I worked at a Day School teaching a class of 3 year-old children. We took a VERY long walk down East Genesee Street in Fayetteville to the public library and then sat down for story time once every spring. (Of course, we had MANY story-times during the regular daily schedule. The reading wasn’t new, just the location.) They were completely tired from the walk, but they loved a chance to read in a new spot. Also, we would make a project as a class and display it at the library every April for BOOK IT! Good times. I hope that they remember, years from now, those little beginnings. 🙂

    I’d love to hear some experiences with junior/senior high reading.

    Comment by joycehansen — February 16, 2008 @ 2:53 pm

  2. Thanks for sharing the NCTE blog link Allison. It’s a great resource I agree.

    I have no memories of being read to at a library or at home. Maybe that’s why I’m such a fierce advocate for celebrating reading and giving kids the freedom to read! I’ll look forward to hearing others’ memories!

    The BIG READ kickoff on campus/downtown Cortland is supposed to happen on Read Across America Day, Monday, March 3. I’m working on that now. KES

    Comment by sunyprof — February 16, 2008 @ 4:57 pm

  3. Your post makes me happy, too, Allison. Thanks for that.

    I have lots of reading aloud memories. My mother read to me every night before bed until I got to middle school. I loved it. Now that I’m a parent myself, I read to my children (ages 2 and 8 months) all the time. We also go to story hour at the library most weeks.

    The interesting thing is that the reading aloud memories seem to stop with middle school. I did take a course in children’s lit. as an undergrad, and our professor read CHARLOTTE’S WEB to us. Just like when my mother and I read it, I was captivated. The other students in my class, though, didn’t seem as into it.

    Has anyone ever heard the show “Selected Shorts” on NPR? It’s actors reading short stories. When I get a chance to listen to it, it brings me back to those days of sitting cross-legged on the carpet with my fifth grade classmates fascinated by the way Mrs. Donner read THE WESTING GAME. It makes me happy.


    Comment by sostrom — February 16, 2008 @ 9:10 pm

  4. Sarah,

    I love “Selected Shorts” and I love NPR! Another favorite of mine on NPR is “Story Corps.” This is a national project that incorporates radio broadcast in an effort to record an oral history of the US. The records are kept at the Library of Congress. Anyone can be a part of this project, all you have to do is go to NPR,

    and (I’m not sure if that link worked) either visit a location or do-it-yourself.
    Presently there is a booth in NYC. How might a NYC teacher use this as incentive in a classroom?


    Comment by joycehansen — February 18, 2008 @ 10:56 pm

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