Monthly Archives: December 2014

ETL402 – Module 2: Three things I’ve learnt about diversity in children’s literature

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Series Fiction

In research it has been argued that series fiction can support reluctant and early readers to develop confidence in their reading ability, due to its predictability and formulaic nature (Gutierrez, 2012). Research has shown reading series fiction aids in the development of reading for pleasure. Once a student finds a series they enjoy, the pleasure derived from reading these books can motivate them to want to read more of this series. Reading more often helps to build the skills needed for competent readers (Truby, 2003, pp. 21-22). It is essential that the school library has a variety of series fiction as part of the collection. In this way the TL can support the literacy needs of reluctant and early readers, and the whole school community.

Indigenous literature

It is essential for school libraries to include indigenous literature that is written by indigenous authors and illustrated by indigenous illustrators, in their collection. It is vital for “black voices” to tell their own stories so all students can have a truer understanding of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander’s stories, histories and culture. The school library can promote and provide easy access to indigenous literature (print and digital) to support the cross-curriculum priorities of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures (Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority [ACARA], 2014). Aboriginal publishing houses such as Magabala Books can support TL’s to locate indigenous literature written and illustrated by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Picture books for older readers

Picture books support students with learning difficulties, EAL/D students and reluctant readers through the combination of the images and text. Readers can more easily make connections between the images and text, which supports successful reading (The National Library of New Zealand, Services to Schools, 2013, Advantages section). Picture books lend themselves to opportunities for group discussions amongst readers. These discussions can help readers to gain greater meaning. The images in picture books can aid in engaging readers and can create many layers of meaning; teachers and TL’s can use this quality to encourage students to critically reflect on the narratives. Picture books for older readers often address and promote discussions on complex issues.

References

Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority. (2014). Australian Curriculum: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures. Retrieved from http://www.australiancurriculum.edu.au/crosscurriculumpriorities/Aboriginal-and-Torres-Strait-Islander-histories-and-cultures

Gutierrez, P. (2012, July 4). The R.L. Stine interview, part 2: The value of series fiction [Blog post]. Retrieved from http://blogs.slj.com/connect-the-pop/2012/07/english/the-r-l-stine-interview-part-2-the-value-of-series-fiction/

The National Library of New Zealand, Services to Schools. (2013). Sophisticated picture books. Retrieved from http://schools.natlib.govt.nz/creating-readers/genres-and-read-alouds/sophisticated-picture-books#advantages-of-using-sophisticated-picture-books

Truby, D. (2003). A fresh look at series books. Instructor (1999), 112(8), 20-22,62. Retrieved from http://www.scholastic.com/teachers/instructor

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ETL402 – Personal Mastery: Strategies to increase professional knowledge of children’s literature

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This is a list of some strategies that I could use in the future to increase my professional knowledge of children’s literature:

  • Read more widely – try reading children’s literature from many different genres, especially those that I would not normally choose
  • Talk to children and teens about what books they are reading and why they like these books, what would they like to see more of in the school library collection
  • Maybe survey students in the library about the fiction they like to read and why – what are their favourite genres
  • Use online tools such as WorldCat Genres to research the literature available for children and teens
  • Read reviews on children’s literature
  • Look at awards for children’s literature and what are the books receiving these types of awards
  • Look at the children’s literature sections in bookshops and in libraries – what is being stocked and collected
  • Talk to other TL’s about children’s literature and genres – pick their brains to gather information about possible books to look at and read

I’m sure this list will be added to as I progress to learn more in this subject.