ERIC Number: ED386740
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1994-Mar
Reference Count: N/A
Having Written Conversations: Dialogues about Literature.
Farest, Cynthia A.; Miller, Carolyn J.
Response journals seem to be promising vehicles for inviting children's written comments because they allow children to reflect on their experiences with books and provide them with opportunities to raise questions and formulate ideas. While both teachers and researchers have indicated the benefits of written responses to books, less is known about the qualitative nature of these "private talks" about books and about the role of the adult responder. A study examined both of these issues as they concerned fourth graders in a Southwest rural school. Dialog journals were found to have a series of unique patterns that help to explain the ways in which literature was studied. These patterns demonstrated the following opportunities: (1) the opportunity to ask questions and seek clarification; (2) the opportunity to think through writing and receive feedback; (3) the opportunity for students to express personal connections and to tell about what they know; (4) the opportunity to study literature; (5) the opportunity for students to explore their value systems; (6) the opportunity for extended conversations that enable children to reconsider a particular aspect of literature; and (7) the opportunity for "written conversations" to become a part of small group book talks. Conclusions support other research on the topic as they reaffirm the importance of written responses in the understanding of literature. (Contains 20 secondary references and a list of 15 children's books.) (TB)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A