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An overview of the direct teaching of a range of genres by green and campbell

Denise Johnson The College of William and Mary Abstract This article discusses the relationship between children's development and their social interaction with knowledgeable others on the selection of children's literature for the promotion of literacy acquisition. A discussion of the importance of understanding child development to teaching, learning, and the selection of "just right" literature and how to support children's experiences with literature for optimal benefits is included.

The paper also discusses a framework for understanding the interrelated nature of the cognitive, social, emotional, linguistic, and literacy development of children; social interaction; and literature selection in grades K-4. Introduction She laughed and she cried as she read, and she exclaimed aloud in the high and echoing room: In the book The Library Card, author Jerry Spinelli tells the story of how a magic library card turns out to be the ticket to finding what each young character needs most at the time.

This fantastic story certainly illustrates the point that good books can have an important influence on the mind of the reader.

  1. The books were selected based on recommendations from teachers, children, parents, and professional literature resources such as children's literature journals and books.
  2. Although books at a variety of levels can and should be read to, with, or by children for a variety of reasons, books that are within a child's zone of proximal development are more likely to be intellectually stimulating.
  3. Very little of the content and order of our theory is the result of direct instruction; rather, it is the interaction of biological, cultural, and life experiences that greatly affects the substance of our theory and the way we organize our experiences.
  4. The column at the far right is a list of suggested books appropriate for each stage of development.
  5. The column at the far right is a list of suggested books appropriate for each stage of development.

Indeed, most of us still remember a favorite book as a child that left a lasting impression. As a toddler, many remember the silly antics and language of a Dr. These books continue to bring joy to our lives today and will live on forever as adults help children experience this joy. The Importance of Child Development to Teaching, Learning, and Literature Our images of children-as-learners are reflected, inevitably, in our definition of what it means to teach Wood, 1988, p.

The "magic" of literature for children is necessarily bound with the nature of their development. Research in past decades reflects our changing view of how children develop and learn. Children have their own unique needs, interests, and capabilities. Very little of the content and order of our theory is the result of direct instruction; rather, it is the interaction of biological, cultural, and life experiences that greatly affects the substance of our theory and the way we organize our experiences.

Cognitive Development

As children encounter new experiences, existing memory structures in the brain or schema are reshaped, impacting the linguistic, cognitive, social, and emotional development of children over time. From this point of view, learning is not the result of development; rather, learning is development. For example, not too long ago, I visited my friend Diane who has a 4-year-old daughter.

On each page of the book, a different tissue-paper collage animal is introduced who urges the reader onward to discover which creature will show up next, with a repeated, rhyming, patterned text. She proceeded to crawl into Diane's lap, open the book, and start reciting the text, pointing and commenting on the various illustrations. Anyone looking at this scene would know that Rachel has been read to many, many times and finds great joy in the experience. A closer look might provide insight into how this experience will assist in Rachel's development: Positive emotions are created from the established lap reading routine that generates an intimate closeness and feeling of security.

Interactive social dialogues between Rachel and her mother build on prior knowledge and provide immediate feedback as they discuss each animal as the story progresses. The language they use to label, compare, explain, and classify creates a supportive context for structuring the processes of thinking and concept formation.

Although each domain constitutes an entire theoretical approach to child development, no single theory can explain the rich complexity of development Santrock, 1999. Supporting Children's Experiences with Literature Linguistic, social, emotional, and cognitive development are complementary processes that ultimately work together to shape a child's literacy growth Vygotsky, 1978.

Vygotsky, a 20th-century Russian psychologist, theorized that social interaction shapes intellectual development and stressed the importance of language in the development of thought. Sociocognitive an overview of the direct teaching of a range of genres by green and campbell posits that social interaction is the primary means by which children arrive at new understanding. Rachel, for example, has acquired quite a bit of knowledge about the act of reading over time from these shared book experiences.

Diane is a powerful model for Rachel when she demonstrates how to hold a book, which end of the book goes up, and which side is the front; when she takes care to turn the pages, always looks to the right page before moving on to the left page, and starts at the top of the page and moves down; when she reads with tone, inflection, enthusiasm, and expresses excitement and joy; when she points to pictures and words as she reads and pauses to discuss what she is thinking; and when she responds appropriately to Rachel's comments or questions.

Rachel is also learning about storybook language, which is different from oral language, and the structure of stories. Vocabulary and concept development are also affected as Diane and Rachel work together to construct a meaningful experience around a common literacy event. Barbara Rogoff 1990 considers children to be apprentices as they acquire a diverse repertoire of skills and knowledge under the guidance and support of more knowledgeable persons.

Selecting "Just Right" Literature The selection of literature is key to providing an experience that results in promoting literacy development in that if the literature is not developmentally appropriate then what the child takes from the book and how he responds to the book will be limited or nonexistent.

On the other hand, a preservice teacher once told me that she read the very humorous Piggie Pie by Margie Palatini aloud to a group of preschoolers; but to her dismay, the preschoolers did not find the book nearly as funny as she did. The clever pigs disguise themselves as other farm animals and successfully fool the witch into thinking that the farm has no pigs.

She is consoled in the end by a wolf that has also had difficulty finding pigs, and they go off together to "have lunch. The reason for this difference is the vast developmental gap between children and adults.

Jalongo's research identifies characteristics of children's humor such as "cognitive challenge," or the intellectual ability required to understand a particular joke, and "novelty," or surprise, which is really the cornerstone of humor.

If a child doesn't have the correct set of expectations, the unexpected is not surprising.

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The preschoolers did find parts of the story to be funny, especially when the pigs dress up like other farm animals. Jalongo 1985 points out, "Because young children are learning to distinguish between fantasy and reality, events that are incongruous with their expectations are considered to be funny" p. But the level of scaffolding that the teacher would have had to provide to assist the children in meeting the cognitive challenge to understand the expectations on which much of the humor in the book depended would have been considerable.

As a result, this literature experience was not as beneficial for the majority of these preschoolers as perhaps another book selection might have been.

Although books at a variety of levels can and should be read to, with, or by children for a variety of reasons, books that are within a child's zone of proximal development are more likely to be intellectually stimulating.

According to Vygotsky 1978the zone of proximal development is "the distance between the actual developmental level as determined through problem-solving under adult guidance or in collaboration with more capable peers" p. A child who is not developmentally ready for a particular book will derive less joy and meaning from it and will respond differently to it. A Framework for Integrating Child Development, Social Interaction, and Literature Selection A framework for understanding the interrelated nature of the cognitive, social, emotional, linguistic, and literacy development of children; social interaction; and literature selection in grades K-4 is provided in the appendix.

The purpose of the framework is to provide a general guide for teachers, parents, and other caregivers in the appropriate selection of books that takes into consideration the importance of child development.

In the far left-hand column of the framework, an overview of the general developmental characteristics of children in the areas of cognitive, language, social, emotional, and literacy development is provided. The middle column gives examples of important experiences that adults can provide when interacting with children and books based on the implications from the developmental characteristics for each grade level.

The column at the far right is a list of suggested books appropriate for each stage of development. The books were selected based on recommendations from teachers, children, parents, and professional literature resources such as children's literature journals and books.

This framework is only approximate and should be informed by ongoing observational information acquired about individual children. With this in mind, the framework will assist in planning appropriate literature experiences and in understanding children's responses to books and book preferences at different levels of development.

Conclusion Wood 1988 states, "Our ideas about the nature of infancy and childhood dictate the ways in which we think about teaching and education" p. As teachers, if we believe that child development, teaching, and learning share a reciprocal relationship, then a clear understanding of the general characteristics of child development and our role through social interaction can assist us in selecting books that reflect a child's current developmental needs while promoting progress toward literacy development and the "magic" of reading.

Tools of the mind: The Vygotskian approach to early childhood education. Guiding readers and writers, grades 3-6: Teaching comprehension, genre, and content literacy. There's some sense to its humor. Childhood Education, 62 2109-114.

Preschool-Kindergarten

A developmental approach to reading instruction 2nd ed. Cognitive development in social context. Those who can, teach 9th ed. Life-span development 7th ed.

  1. Research in past decades reflects our changing view of how children develop and learn.
  2. But the level of scaffolding that the teacher would have had to provide to assist the children in meeting the cognitive challenge to understand the expectations on which much of the humor in the book depended would have been considerable.
  3. A child who is not developmentally ready for a particular book will derive less joy and meaning from it and will respond differently to it.
  4. The language they use to label, compare, explain, and classify creates a supportive context for structuring the processes of thinking and concept formation. Introduction She laughed and she cried as she read, and she exclaimed aloud in the high and echoing room.
  5. Jalongo's research identifies characteristics of children's humor such as "cognitive challenge," or the intellectual ability required to understand a particular joke, and "novelty," or surprise, which is really the cornerstone of humor.

Preventing reading difficulties in young children. How children think and learn. Children's Literature Cited Martin, Jr. Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What do you see? Appendix A Framework for Integrating Child Development, Social Interaction, and Literature Selection Preschool-Kindergarten Readers seek out and enjoy experiences with books and print; become familiar with the language of literature and the patterns of stories; understand and follow the sequence of stories read to them; begin to acquire specific understandings about the nature, purpose, and function of print; experiment with reading and writing independently, through approximation; and see themselves as developing readers and writers.