Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum

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In Search of the Novel:Teacher-TalkNovel

Subject: reading aloud

From: Barbara Patch (Barbara.Patch@valley.net)
Date: Mon Apr 24 2000 - 13:52:35 EDT

I have my English Certification K-12 but do not teach in regular school
classes. I work with a program for children of agricultural workers who move
frequently in order to get work in agriculture. All the states have a
program like this. It is generally called the Migrant Education Program. I
am also a mother of four and found that it helps me to keep up with what my
migrant and my own children are reading by listening to novels on tape in
the car. Unabridged novels of course!

I am telling you this since I think hearing the written word for some
children and adults gives them pleasure they never would receive by having
to read it. This is especially true for slow learners or those who may have
comprehension problems while they are reading. I am happy to hear that so
many of you read to your classes. It helps me to pass the time in a
productive way, since I have an hour commute.

My son's fifth grade teacher just finished reading Bridge to Terabithia to
her class aloud. He had already heard it on tape last summer. It was good
for him as he said he got more out of it this time. Last time, he said he
thought about death the most and this time he thought more about friendship.
I was really satisfied to see his comprehension growth. This prompted me
to choose Bridge to Terabithia for my final project. I want to see what
others in his class gleaned from this story. I want to show excerpts from
the tape of the author. I especially want to see how the class reacts to
Katherine Paterson's retelling of why she wrote the book. I plan to have a
discussion surrounding the issues in the book and get into the values that
the students have on friendships. If any of you have any ideas, they
certainly will be welcomed.


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