For our teachers that have perhaps the greatest responsibility of all, which is aiding our students in order for them to learn the basics of literacy, teaching them with engaging and stimulating materials is not considered an ideal, it is a necessity. Some scholars dismiss the idea that using familiar experiences and ideas is the best way to go in order to achieve effective instruction. In its place some prefer a newer approach, which focuses on the teaching of basic literacy skills by utilizing concepts that run the gamut from fascinating to magnificent to exotic to weird. By using literary basics in an “unforgettable” way, the students retain material more readily. This is not just in preparation of tests, but also to instill a life long love of writing and reading.
When a teacher combines playfulness with practicality, creativity and common sense, and applies these strategies to beginning readers at any age, it not only raises grades it also brings out enjoyable, authentic learning experiences. It also provides the foundation of adult literacy.
Emergent, or beginner readers need books that are selected strictly for their level with increasing difficulty to improve reading skills. Teachers will select books that have a familiar subject and a simple language pattern. Most often the pictures will correspond exactly to the text on the page.
For the more fluent readers. teachers will select books on a subject or topic that may extend beyond the student’s range of knowledge. They will normally have fairly complex and long sentences, text that will require the reader to make inferences and illustrations that complement the text on the page rather than matching it. These books will also have more pages than previous ones in order to improve reading. Fluency in reading, as in writing, is the goal of every literacy program, and practice in writing enhances reading proficiency and vice versa.
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