Saturday, January 20, 2007

From Reader To Writer

While picking up texts at the university bookstore earlier this month, I couldn't help but scan through the required readings for other courses. One book in particular caught my eye. Unable to take a course on how to teach children's literature, because I already I have a full-year kid-lit course as part of my undergrad degree, I was still intrigued by one of the readings for the class: From Reader To Writer: Teaching Writing Through Classic Children's Books by Sarah Ellis.

This is a short book that focuses on how some of the most loved and well known books of children's literature can be used as examples of particular writing styles and strategies. Most of my favourites, including C.S. Lewis, Louisa May Alcott, Katherine Paterson, Jean Little, Tolkein, Lewis Carroll get a full chapter devoted to their work.

Ellis does a good job of providing some interesting background trivia that will help engage students in the literature and suggests texts for various grade levels (most are junior and up). She also suggests complementary writing activities and exercises that can be done as a class. A decent teacher resource.

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