Friday, September 10, 2010

In speaking with reading experts...

...I found I gave you the right advice about the omitting words question. One of our fabulous teachers specializes in Dyslexia and Reading Interventions, and she gave me the thumbs up.

The past week my kids have been studying reading Genres. Nonfiction - Informational, Biography, Autobiography; Fiction - Traditional Literature (fairy tales, legends, myths), Historical Fiction (those fictional stories which have a real setting that takes place in the past), Realistic Fiction, Fantasy, Mystery, Science Fiction; and Poetry (which can be from either fiction or nonfiction).

Why do I want them to know this? First, each genre has specific text structure and make up. It is important to know those. Once they know, say, mysteries are books with clues, sleuths, red herrings, suspense, a problem to be solved, and a discovery -- the second they pick up one of those books and begin to read it, their minds will predict click into "I know this structure" mode and they will more easily comprehend it.

Another reason is I want them to keep track of the genres they are reading. Of course, I love it when they find a genre they love, but if they ONLY read that type, I want them to realize it. I have them keep a tally in their Reading Notebooks on the books they have finished.

I encourage them to be adventurous into new genres. Some kids, like my Matt, love Realistic Fiction because they relate...but I want him to try Fantasy too -- see what that's like. Exposure at a young age will give them a wider perspective on reading and books.

Some, on the other hand, love the princess, fairy, Harry Potter Fantasy genre exclusively. I think movies play a major role in why kids lean towards this genre, although it is really a break from the everyday. I encourage them to try Mysteries, or Science Fiction.

Keep a tally of what books your child is reading in which genre. It could tell you a lot...and make sure they know what genres are and what they are reading. It will help their understanding!

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