10 Apr Slice of Life: The Words of Lifelong Readers #SOL19 #TWTBlog
Books became our language.
Books became our home.
Books became our lives.
We learned to read,
and to make our voices heard.
I love this quote from Dreamers by Yuyi Morales. I have been reading this book with students in K-5 classrooms over the past few months. Students come back to these words each time. They want to talk about these words, connect with these words, and think through the message in these words with other readers. As I listened in on their conversations, here are some ideas I heard:
We connect with characters in books.
We learn life lessons from characters and live differently after meeting them.
We are forever changed after reading a book.
Books make us feel safe and accepted.
Books are comfortable.
Books are our friends when we are lonely.
Books inspire us to tell our story.
Stories connect us.
We need to write what is in our hearts.
Stories make our dreams come true.
These conversations inspire me. These are the words of lifelong readers. I find myself envious of the time students have to respond, discuss, debate, and reflect together. This is how readers’ grow their thinking and are inspired to make changes in the world.
We need to create space in our classroom schedules for students to talk, authentically talk, about text. Too often these conversations are stunted by prompts, roles, and annotation. Students are so consumed with what they are required to do, that they completely miss what they need to do. As educators we need to remember the importance of talking about a text with another person. The personal need to connect with another reader. This time needs to be purposeful, meaningful, and authentic for the reader. I wonder how many of us have this experience as readers ourselves. I wonder if we had more opportunity to do this, would we be more apt to give our students the opportunity to guide their conversations.
I participate in my neighborhood book club, but I do not often read literature with other educators. I want to find more ways to make this happen. Taking the time to reflect on this type of experience will only enhance how we facilitate book clubs in our classrooms.
You may be wondering … how can I find this type of opportunity? Where can I join an educator book club? Well do I have a deal for you …
Thank you, Betsy, Beth, Deb, Kathleen, Kelsey, Lanny, Melanie, and Stacey for this weekly forum from Two Writing Teachers. Check out the writers, readers, and teachers here