Notes from a Small Island: The Knife of Never Letting Go

by Melissa Wilson

EscapeThis week’s text is a young adult novel by Patrick Ness called The Knife of Never Letting Go. While searching for book reviews I saw that its genre is called “speculative fiction,” a term with which I am unfamiliar. What I discovered with more searching is that it is a literary category that comprises science fiction and fantasy, but it is a bit more Read More »

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Notes from a Small Island: Examining Recent Award-Winning Books from the United Kingdom

by Melissa Wilson

ReflectionAs the purpose of World of Words is to “to build bridges across global cultures through children’s and adolescent literature,” I would like to use this WOW Currents to employ adolescent literature from the United Kingdom as a way to examine the similarities and differences of cultures from two different countries that share the same language (although the English may not agree about the “same language” assertion). Read More »

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Catastrophe or Opportunity?: Rethinking and Resisting Deficit Perspectives on the Language and Culture of Children Living in Poverty

By Tracy Smiles, Western Oregon University
(This originally appeared in the Oregon Reading Association’s quarterly newsletter, The ORAcle—Winter 2015).

Mindthegap


One cannot expect positive results from an educational or political action program which fails to respect the particular view of the world held by the people. Such a program constitutes cultural invasion, good intentions notwithstanding.
Paulo Freire

A Troubling Discourse

Just the other day I overheard an administrator addressing a group of preservice teachers. He explained, “Children living in poverty have little to no vocabulary.” While this well-meaning individual was trying to describe some of the very real challenges these future teachers could face teaching in culturally, economically, and linguistically diverse contexts, I was troubled by this discourse Read More »

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Community Outreach Literacy Practices After the March 2011 Earthquake

by Yoo Kyung Sung, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM & Junko Sakoi, Tucson Unified School District, Tucson, AZ

Toppan CSR Report_2012_P.9 copyLast week we explored a range of Japanese picture books describing natural disasters. The books became significantly meaningful to children in Japan when the earthquake of 2011 occurred. Allowing time for thinking and talking about the earthquake through picture books developed even more meaning outside of school. Social outreach programs thru mobile libraries were essential for young readers Read More »

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Japanese National Trauma: Changing Trends in Japanese Picture Books Since the Tohoku Earthquake

by Yoo Kyung Sung, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque NM & Junko Sakoi, Tucson Unified School District, Tucson AZ

tsunami-67499_640

“March 11th, 2011, a 9.0 magnitude earthquake takes place in Tohoku area including Fukushima, Iwate, and Miyagi, 231 miles northeast of Tokyo at a depth of 15.2 miles. The earthquake causes a tsunami with 30-foot waves that damage several nuclear reactors in Fukushima. It is the fourth-largest earthquake on record (since 1900) and the largest to hit Japan… The confirmed death toll is 15,893 as October 9 2015” (CNN Library, 2015).

The Japan Tohoku earthquake resulted in global environmental concerns despite the fact that earthquake originally appeared to be a limited “Japanese” event. Read More »

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Natural Disasters: What Should Children Learn?

by Yoo Kyung Sung, University of New Mexico & Junko Sakoi, Tucson Unified School District

hurricane-63005_1280This month we will discuss social meanings inherent in children’s literature, specifically addressing some recent global and national natural disasters that resulted in the heavy loss of human life as well as the destruction of homes.

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Extending Read Alouds

by Megan McCaffrey & Katy Hisrich

CenterLearning does not stop once a story is read. A story should be read multiple times in order to know the story well. Learning experiences can and should go beyond the pages of a book. Whatever concepts, ideas, language, illustrations and so on should be further explored in order to deepen understandings. There are many ways to extend learning. Read More »

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Planning for a Read Aloud

by Megan McCaffrey & Katy Hisrich

16097Good Read Alouds do not just happen by chance, they are created through conscientious planning. Research shows there are specific qualities of a read aloud necessary in order to optimize the effectiveness of the activity. Read More »

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Books for Read Alouds

Dr. Megan McCaffrey & Dr. Katy E. Hisrich, Governors State University

Blog3

 

I do believe something very magical can happen when you read a good book.

~J.K. Rowling

While it is important to know how to read aloud, it is also important to know what to read aloud. There is a vast number of books for children. Ipso facto it may prove daunting and even difficult to make selections for a read aloud. Read More »

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Characteristics of Read Alouds

by Dr. Megan McCaffrey and Dr. Katy E. Hisrich, Governors State University

Reading AloudLast week, we discussed the importance and benefits of read alouds. We know that read alouds offer numerous benefits and have significant impact on a child’s literacy skills and language development. Now the question remains, “what are the best practices for a read aloud?” This week, we will focus on the characteristics of the read aloud. This is includes the factors that one should consider when conducting a read-aloud. I think about this using a simple acronym: Read More »

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