I recently read an article written by Kyle Redford entitled “Creating a Reading Culture for Struggling Readers.” (http://dyslexia.yale.edu/EDU_Culture4Readers.html) It is about a teacher who is surprised to see his high school son become an avid reader and literary critic. This transformation occurs when the boy’s writing tutor asks him to read lots of simple children books in order to discover what type of writing he likes best. That situation encourages the teacher to think about how he can change his own classroom to focus more on good literature at an easier level to reach all students. I thought the message is well founded. Children sometimes fall into the trap of trying to read the hardest book they possibly can, and if they can’t then the trick is to “look” like you can. If we truly want all children to love reading – then we do need to get away from emphasizes the level of difficulty a child is able to read and focus more on the actual reading.
In fact, reading children’s nonfiction is an excellent way of getting the basic knowledge of a scientific topic and makes reading grade level material more manageable. For nonfiction, you are basically building roots on a particular topic that you can then add detail too rather than be overwhelmed with too much complicated language at once. For nonfiction, you are building the love of reading by making reading fun and relaxing. After all, isn’t that the ultimate goal?
Read the article for yourself: http://dyslexia.yale.edu/EDU_Culture4Readers.html