Saturday, January 7, 2012

The What and Why of Reading

Upon return from holiday break, our Queen and Fearless Language Arts Department Head Cindy Rucker challenged the High School English teachers with a set of tasks: Bring in any books, magazines or other materials you are currently reading or have read over break. We will run off the covers and display them on a bulletin in the hallway as the visual portraying the department’s commitment to reading outside of school.

She also posted questions for us to ponder:

How does this reading influence the why and what of your teaching?
How do you decide what to read?
Where and when do you read?
What book or article has had an impact on your life?

Because I teach writing, reading is essential. But even if I taught Math or Biology, reading is still an essential; all content is driven by the word. Many factors influence what I choose to read. Along with grading student papers, and reading selections from the text, I often read articles about writing or social concerns I share with my class. Lately I have also been reading a lot about the ever changing state of libraries and bookstores, my two loves who may be spiraling toward demise. In my last blog I wrote about The Yellow Lighted Book Shop, and over break I underlined and book marked passages I plan to share with my students this month.

Cindy encouraged us to construct verbal or written reactions to these questions. A few of us wrote short poems, which have me an idea. I constricted the beginning of what needs to be a lengthy poem, and as a challenge to YOU, I want you to add your own four line stanza and sign it. Think of this as a perpetual poem. Reading is an infinite activity.( I plan to do this in my classroom and with my young writers at the library.)

Here is mine:

When I read I become an Arabian night,
I fly above the African terrain,
Fall in love a thousand times,
and hold a kingdom in my hands.

Laura Moe

Add your stanzii.....
Happy Writing. Read Every Day.