Friday, June 29, 2012
Igniting a Passion for Reading
I'm rereading a book titled Igniting a Passion for Reading by Steven Layne. The message is powerful and one that we, as elementary teachers, should know innately: give the kids what they like and they'll be more likely to enjoy reading. Layne's words remind us, with a dry wit and searing honesty, that teaching transforms itself magically into learning when the learner is excited/interested/curious/having FUN.
It shocks me that we even need reminding of this.
It shocks me even more that I have to sigh and nod to myself that yes, we do need reminding of this.
Igniting a Passion for Reading gets my brain-gears spinning. It makes me want to ignite a passion for learning. For making connections. For sparking curiosity. When this happens (like waking from a foggy, sleepy dream) I start to look around me, and I see things in a different light - in a learner's light. I am especially struck with pop culture and how it can be used to hook those kiddos in, line and sinker.
Watch this video. First, watch it for humor...wade in and get your feet wet.
Then watch it again, this time for subtleties in the humor, connections you make, references you might have missed the first time. Then, watch it one last time, this time through the eyes of a 3rd/4th/5th/6th grader. How much better do they know this world than you? How do they see it differently?
Then, think about what learning this could be the jumping off point for. Compare/contrast? Perspective? Persuasion? Could you use it discuss equality in mathematics? Properties in science? Character traits? Conflict?
How about this one?
When learning is relevant (and remember that relevancy is all in your perspective...and it's important to not forget who's perspective are you teaching to) and fun and emotionally memorable, then you'll have buy in.
And when you have buy-in, then you have ignition. And igniting those passions is what it is all about.