ERIC Number: ED232188
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983-Apr-10
Reference Count: 0
Literature: Basic in the Language Arts Curriculum.
Stewig, John Warren
Given the vulnerability of the language arts to "back to basics" pressures, it is wise to consider the purposes that literature serves for young readers. Children read for a variety of reasons, including to escape, to understand themselves and others, and to learn about other times, places, and peoples. Characteristics of excellence to look for when choosing books for young readers center on seven areas: (1) characterization--the people must be believable; (2) dialogue--conversations should sound like real people talking; (3) setting--descriptions should be vivid; (4) plot--sequence of events must be at least compelling, if not logical and believable; (5) conflict--should be carefully constructed; (6) resolution--should be successful, either positive, neutral, negative, or not resolved; and (7) theme--should be an element of literary evaluation, what is left when all the details are stripped away. After sharing a book with children, a teacher can plan many kinds of follow-up activities, although some books may require a silent reaction and rethinking. Verbal, verbal and physical, visual, musical, and written are some of the response modes possible. Every child responds with zest to one of these techniques at one time or another, but it requires a sensitive teacher to know when a certain activity is appropriate and when it is best to let the book speak for itself. (Various children's book titles are suggested throughout this essay.) (HTH)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Speeches/Meeting Papers; Guides - Classroom - Teacher
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Meeting of the National Association of Elementary School Principals (St. Louis, MO, April 10, 1983).