Must read Educational Article: What Should Children Read?

This is a great read for any teacher, or educator - but also for anyone interested in how education is shifting with the Common Core Standards. Check out this must read article.

As Sara Mosle states more effectively than I ever could

"As an English teacher and writer who traffics in factual prose, I’m with Mr. Coleman. In my experience, students need more exposure to nonfiction, less to help with reading skills, but as a model for their own essays and expository writing, what Mr. Gladwell sought by ingesting “Talk of the Town” stories. I love fiction and poetry as much as the next former English major and often despair over the quality of what passes for “informational texts,” few of which amount to narrative much less literary narrative. What schools really need isn’t more nonfiction but better nonfiction, especially that which provides good models for student writing. Most students could use greater familiarity with what newspaper, magazine and book editors call “narrative nonfiction”: writing that tells a factual story, sometimes even a personal one, but also makes an argument and conveys information in vivid, effective ways."

It is important to read the entire article to understand the debate - but I believe that teaching how to read, write, and think critically and independently is the most important lesson we can provide our students. Helping them learn these traits is essential for their success moving forward. Nonfiction reading and writing is often ignored and I am excited by the inclusion - and emphasis - on such work in Common Core. The next step is for social studies and science to help in the teaching of this skill. My social studies classroom is structured more like an English class (in part due to my loving and better teacher wife who is an English teacher). I work on vocabulary acquisition with the help of Newswordy.com and informational writing through current event papers - but this reading must be throughout English and social studies curriculums.

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