Friday, June 4, 2010

Thinking When They're NOT Reading

This is something I was reminded of as I was reading that "Notebook Connections" book. She brought up the fact that she likes to ask kids what they are thinking about their reading -- when they aren't reading.

Most kids probably give her a strange look. "But we're out on the playground, not reading!" they may respond.

But here's why it is important to get them to do this: THEY NEED TO LET BOOKS AFFECT THEM. So many kids read something and then simply put it down. If you were to ask them how they felt about it, you might get a blank stare (or a "good" or shrugged shoulders). They don't understand how books can actually CHANGE you.

They can make you think differently, they can teach you new information, they can make you cry, scream, or gasp.

But many kids don't think about a book after they put it down.

Think about the first book you remember crying. How old were you? You let that book affect you, and I bet you thought about that book many times since.

So I am going to start having discussions randomly with the boys about their reading. Were they remembering that funny part? Were they feeling sad for that character?

Here's how to get it to work. Find something to read that has depth. That will put them in tune with feeling, and they will remember that. But it doesn't have to be a tear jerker all the time...just getting them to talk and think about books after they have put it down is the key.

1 comment:

  1. J- Not sure if this was the first, but I remember crying my eyes out over Bridge to Terabithia in 5th grade- devastated by it! And yet I felt older and wiser and like the author had really trusted me with something big. A milestone for me, for sure!