Donna E. Norton's purpose in her book is "intended to help adults discover ways to share their enchantment with books, our literary heritage, and an appreciation for literature that will last a lifetime" (v). Teachers share that same goal. In selecting literature for a classroom, teachers need to take in account the following: the school's standards and benchmarks, the adopted sequential curriculum, the age of the students, their stages of language, cognitive, personality, and social development. Teachers need to have the literature curriculum set for the year, but flexible enough to meet the needs of the students in the classroom.
Using the schools' standards is the first step in deciding how to use literature in the classroom. Standards tell what students should know and be able to do at each grade level in order to graduate and become productive lifelong learners. Standards exist in each content area with benchmarks written and aligned developmentally with each content area and grade levels. This criteria is what teachers use daily in their teaching process to make sure students are learning what is expected. During all this time, teachers need to continue to ask what is it that students know and should be able to do? The most important consideration may be that "children are the ultimate critics of what they read, and you should consider their preferences when evaluating and selecting books to share with them" (137). Teachers need to visualize the student's picture or perception of literature choices to best teach. Just teaching the material does not ensure that students will choose to learn.
Looking at, or meeting the needs of all students, teachers must use a variety of literature material and instructional techniques. "The general characteristics of children at each developmental stage provides clues for appropriate literature. Certain books can benefit children during a particular stage of development, helping the children progress to the next stage" (5). Child development is defined through "the language, cognitive, personality, and social development of children" (5).
"A literature program should have five objectives" (110). 1). to "help students realize that literature is for entertainment and can be enjoyed throughout life" (110) 2). to assist students in "acquainting children with t...
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...r-pencil tests. Today, evaluation procedures can take place through obsevations, conferencing, oral and written assignments, student self and peer evaluation, and process or performance assessment. Teachers should plan to use a variety of evaluation techniques. Evaluation in literature, should include not only evaluation of student progress and teacher instruction, but also of the texts or books used.
The different types of literature used in a classroom includes the following: traditional literature, modern fantasy, peotry, contemporary realistic fiction, historical fiction, multicultural literature and non fictions biographies and or informational books. Teachers may set a yearly literature instructional plan by themes and or the above types of literature. The literature units may go accross the curriculum and align with all subjects. A picture wordless book may be used with an art unit. The theming may go from a personal context in literature looking at heritage integrated with social studies. During the year, student interest and abilities may determine the direction and content of instructional units. Most important units must be relevant and meaningful to students.
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