ERIC Number: ED260381
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1985-Mar
Reference Count: 0
Using Traditional Literature to Teach Critical Reading Skills.
McClain, Anita Bell
Classroom teachers might consider teaching children to become critical readers through the use of traditional literature. It is not necessarily difficult to define critical reading, but it is a difficult task to teach students when and how to read critically. The six skills most important to critical reading are that the reader should (1) read material with an alert and questioning mind, (2) compare and contrast what has been read, (3) consider the author's viewpoint and be aware of other viewpoints, (4) detect propaganda techniques, (5) identify relevant and irrelevant information, and (6) differentiate fact from opinion. To critically analyze traditional literature (such as folktales, myths, or legends), one must first understand the characteristics of each genre and be aware that each culture has unique beliefs and geographical positions. The task of the critical reader is to analyze and then apply literary elements such as main character, setting, plot, and conclusion to several tales. Possible titles for use are "Too Much Noise" for primary grades, "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" for primary/middle grades, and "Cinderella" for middle grades. Since the excellent variety of traditional literature lends itself to analysis, a classroom teacher could consider using it to teach critical reading. Tables illustrate ways to compare various tales or to note similarities and differences in the main character, setting, conflict, advice, animals, and resolution of conflict. (DF)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Guides - Classroom - Teacher; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Far West Regional Conference of the International Reading Association (11th, Portland, OR, March 7-9, 1985).