Last update: 10-Dec-2013 10:54 am
Tuesday, December 10, 2013
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian Online
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Edgy books a good start to reading
M is not a boy you would think of as an avid reader. He’s in my CXC English language class at the Youth Training Centre (YTC) and he says when he was “outside,” he never read. “I didn’t even know I could read a whole book,” says M. Now, he becomes so absorbed in reading a book that I practically have to shake him to get his attention. Most of my students in YTC and the International School of Port-of-Spain (ISPS) are avid readers. As you might notice, those are two vastly different groups of students.
Here is what I have learned about getting students into reading.
• Choose edgy material—Young readers are no different from adults. They want material that pushes the boundaries in terms of writing style and content. They want material that pushes them to extremes emotionally speaking. They want exciting, well written books with credible conflicts. This is why small children like fairy tales with wicked stepmothers and scary stories.
Right now, my book club of nine and ten-year-olds are totally mesmerised by Kathy Appelt’s novel The Underneath. This is the story of a cruel man, the dog he keeps chained up and the cat the dog befriends.
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