ERIC Number: ED397410
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1995-Nov
Metaphorical Children's Writing in a Whole-Language Classroom.
A study described metaphorical writing for engaging Mexican American students in productive emergent literacy activities. During a 2-year qualitative study of a bilingual first-grade classroom, data was collected through an ethnography of communication framework that focused on metaphorical student writing and reading and included interviews and observation. There were about 15 students in the class and each student wrote a number of books that were made available for other students in the class to read. Students regularly discussed the metaphorical interpretations in their writing either through conferencing with the teacher or in round-robin class discussion. The class was clearly successful in its whole language approach, despite the obstacles the instructor faced: finding appropriate Spanish-language texts was not an easy matter; further, many Mexican Americans have been subjected to skill-based instruction, which has left them with negative feelings about education. The instructor overcame this negativity, in part, through establishing an environment that made the students comfortable. He established clear, simple rules, and he provided safe, cozy places in the classroom where students could work alone or in small groups. As a result, the classroom became a comfortable, energetic place. Discussions were facilitated by elevating the student's place, putting them on a platform so they were at a height equal to their teacher. Metaphorical writing was effective because it encouraged authentic representation of student cultural beliefs and a positive motivation toward literacy tasks. (Contains 2 figures and 41 references.) (TB)
Descriptors: Bilingual Education, Childrens Literature, Childrens Writing, Classroom Environment, Classroom Research, Cultural Context, Emergent Literacy, Grade 1, Metaphors, Mexican Americans, Primary Education, Qualitative Research, Student Needs, Teacher Student Relationship, Whole Language Approach, Writing Instruction
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the National Reading Conference (45th, New Orleans, LA, November 29-December 2, 1995).