Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Children's Literature, Briefly. Chapter 14: Informational Books

As discussed in the beginning of the chapter, informational books do tend to meet negative responses. It is true that some informational books are boring and are only utilized when writing a paper. The authors make a good point about the five elements that can make an informational book good. I loved the suggestion for teachers to pick up an informational book and thumb through it for only three minutes and see if it catches your own attention before expecting it to catch the attention of an elementary school student. That is a great rule of thumb for teaching; if it doesn't spark your interest it probably won't for your students.

I really liked the quote on page 176 that stated, "good informational books teach the same way good classroom teacher teach: They examine a subject, think about things, make discoveries, and then share a personal view of what they have learned." The best teachers I had growing up were the ones that knew all the facts, delivered it in a way that interested the class, and then let students do their own personal research. Just like the book states, "lay a groundwork for wanting further knowledge". For me, this chapter was about defining good elements of informational books and then realizing that as teachers we are a metaphoric informational book. We must teach information in a way that is compelling, attractive, and fascinating.

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