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ERIC Number: EJ930384
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Mar
Pages: 8
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 25
ISSN: ISSN-1538-6619
Young Girls Discovering Their Voice with Literacy and Readers Theater
Zambo, Debby
Young Children, v66 n2 p28-35 Mar 2011
The ideal female, as portrayed in the media, has a perfect body, owns many trendy and costly possessions, and is submissive and sexy. Young girls are easily influenced by the media's portrayal of teens and women, therefore, they may begin to form unrealistic ideas about beauty and begin to judge themselves and each other based on these unattainable standards. By the middle elementary grades, the self-esteem of many girls depends on particular ways of looking and acting, and more and more girls are unkind to peers who do not look or act a certain way. This way of thinking can lead to relational aggression, a covert form of bullying and ostracizing, among girls. Young girls may express relational aggression because they have lost their "voice." Voice is expressed "physically" with breath and sound, "psychologically" with emotions, and "culturally" with gendered ideals. Having friends means everything to many young girls, so they may hide their true feelings, or lose their voice, to make or keep friends. Fortunately, it does not have to be this way--and literacy can help. Teachers can use book characters and important women in history to help girls hear strong female voices through activities like Readers Theater. Readers Theater--cooperative dramatic reading from a text--gives children an opportunity to step into a strong character's shoes and hear and speak like that character. Reading and reflecting on narratives helps girls understand the challenges they face in making their own voices strong. As with other academic or social interventions, this literacy teaching strategy is most effective when implemented early in girls' development. (Contains 6 online resources.)
National Association for the Education of Young Children. 1313 L Street NW Suite 500, Washington, DC 22205-4101. Tel: 800-424-2460; Tel: 202-232-8777; Fax: 202-328-2649; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Early Childhood Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A