In Encountering the Other: How Literature Will Save the World from siobhan curious: classroom as microcosm by Siobhan Curious, she says,
“…I asked, ‘Why do we read? What are books for? If the novel goes the way of live theater – a medium appealing to only a small, relatively rarefied segment of the population – what, if anything, will be lost? What can a novel do for us that other art forms can’t?’”
This also sparked a great conversation with my 5 year old great niece is just beginning her school career. When I asked her what subjects she liked, she mentioned art and music but when I mentioned reading, she said it was okay. For me, okay is not good enough. I want her to LOVE reading. I want her to want to read more and read better and read for the love of reading. She couldn’t understand my passion about this and asked why.
I tried to explain that reading lets me pretend I am other people and can do all sorts of things that I can’t do on my own. It opens my mind to imagination and makes the impossible possible. I can be a super hero with special powers or I can be in exotic places that I never thought I could be. I can also be an ordinary person doing ordinary things that I don’t have the courage to do at this time. Stories like this can help me get that courage to grow and try new things.
Reading can help me learn new things and gain information. There is so much information out there in the world and at my fingertips. Reading can help me get this information and apply it to my life.
Reading tells me about places I have never been before. I can learn about the people living there, their culture, their food, and their government as well as so much more. Sometimes reading about these places makes me want to visit there in the future.
Reading helps improve my writing. When I read different types of literature, I am also learning about different writing styles. Certain styles may appeal to me while others don’t. Without this exploration, I would not know the different options available.
Reading helps me make critical decisions. Reading can help me find information about certain topics so I can make informed decisions on my own rather than someone telling me what to do.
Reading can connect me with others. I might read blogs, twitter messages, text messages, or things like email messages that bring me closer to others. Without some knowledge of the written word, it would be hard to send my own messages for others to read because it wouldn’t make any sense.
Sometimes reading can just be plain fun. I like to read to escape. I might be under stress or overworked and find reading can help me relax. It lets me get away in my mind.
Yes, reading is important to me and I hope that you too feel it is important. I think reading is important in order to be successful in school as well as in life. So, come on and join me. Grab a book and start reading!
Posted on the Successful Teaching Blog by loonyhiker (successfulteaching at gmail dot com).
Original image: 'I Want to Live'
http://www.flickr.com/photos/86603835@N00/36362014 by: Jay Ryness