Monday, August 15, 2011

Writing Easy Readers

In the afternoon of the second day we had a wonderful guest speaker named Susan Blackaby who specializes in writing books for Early and low level readers. [Her talk focused on research she did about how the brain allows kids to develop language skills. Because I was an avid and early reader early I have always taken my ability for granted.]

Three components:

Connecting symbols to the sound
When the brain recognizes text there are five parts of the brain need to work in sync. If One is out of sync, reading is difficult
[she used her own daughter as an example in trying to find textx that would enable the girl to connect to written words. Most of what was extant in the Hi-lo reader selection Blackaby found inadequate, so she dtarted writing them. She terms her work as good books for bad readers.]

She discovered certain words and types of words are difficult for slow readers to process. For example, “the diver is in the river,”
“Take the water to the skater”
The skater’s daughter likes bottled water.” are confusing because the words have si,iarl sounds and spellings.
The trick is to use simple, monosyllabic words in creative ways. NOT See Dick run, See Spot Run.
In early chapter books the language needs to be simple enough the kids can set up patterns and connect with the text.

[a good exercise is to challenge yourself to write something lively using single syllable words. It’s REALLY hard to make it interesting as you will see from my dull example.:
The man on the raft is in the lake. He wears black under a hot sun as fish float by. Birds fly and sing. A cat sits on the shore. It waits for fish.]

If you want to write for this market, she recommended a book called Teaching Reading Sourcebook from the Consortium of Reading Excellence]

Happy Writing.

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