ERIC Number: ED159625
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1978-May
Reference Count: 0
Fanciful Literature and Reading Comprehension.
Salesi, Rosemary A.
Some children lack the framework of prior experience necessary for the comprehension and enjoyment of fanciful literature. Fanciful literature, though grounded in reality, deals not only with what is, but also with what could be or might have been. Since readers actively construct meaning by relating what they read to their conceptual systems, certain elements of fanciful novels may cause frustration. First, because the setting is often the author's invention, readers must cope with the author's careful descriptions of it and must often create a mental map of a new country. Readers must also deal with a history of a people that does not exist, organizing many names and events in their minds. Language and style can also cause confusion, since fanciful works may include archaic language, unusual structure, and allegorical plots, and are in many cases the works of British authors. Finally, the need to cope with the ambiguity of fantasy may be burdensome to readers. In anticipation of these difficulties, teachers should read fanciful works aloud and help children to deal with the ambiguities involved, thus developing a prereading framework of experience. (The paper cites specific fanciful novels and includes a list of classroom activities to develop creativity.) (GW)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the International Reading Association (23rd, Houston, Texas, May 1-5, 1978)