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Language Arts, Vol. 74, No. 6, October 1997

Cover Art for Language Arts, Vol. 74, No. 6, October 1997

Table of Contents

Issue Theme: Opening Up Children's Literature

  • Exploring the Literature of Fact: Linking Reading and Writing through Information Trade Books

    Barbara Moss, Susan Leone and Mary Lou Dipillo

    Abstract: Discusses three ways elementary teachers can improve student understanding expository text through reading and writing of information trade books: reading and writing about information trade books; reading and creating innovations on information trade books; and reading and writing retellings of information trade books.

    Keywords: Literature, Writing, Reading, Elementary

  • "If Only I Was Like Barbie"

    Linda Wasson-Ellam

    Abstract: Examines how young girls in a multi-aged primary classroom constructed gendered identities and meanings through interactions with booksand televised soap operas that often distort their vision of reality and what it is to live as a female. Discovers that the girls interpreted story to make it fit into their already established ideas about appropriate behavior for females.

    Keywords: Literature, Elementary

  • Critical Literacy in the Elementary Classroom

    Donna C. Creighton

    Abstract: Considers the possibilities of critical literacy curricula in elementary classrooms. Discusses the development of children's texts; underlying principles of critical literacy; suggested starting points for developing critical literacy in the classroom; and the implications for reading and assessment of emotionally charged texts. Argues for acknowledgement of the social complexity of the reading process.

    Keywords: Literacy, Pedagogy, Elementary

  • Taking Children's Literature Seriously: Reading for Pleasure and Social Change

    Vivian Yenika-Agbaw

    Abstract: Investigates how multiple stances in reading can reveal new insights into texts. Demonstrates three ways that a single text can be read from the perspectives of a pleasurable reading, a postcolonial reading, and a critical multicultural reading. Argues that readers will confirm existing meanings determined by others' ideologies unless they are able to read for social change and justice.

    Keywords: Literature, Reading, Elementary

  • Teaching about Worlds of Hurt through Encounters with Literature: Reflections on Pedagogy

    Judith P. Robertson

    Abstract: Discusses (1) knowledge teachers are trying to teach when they ask children to read stories about incidences of pain and horror; (2) how preservice elementary teachers experience the dangers and the possibilities involved in using such literature; (3) principles literary practitioners call upon to assist readers in working through the psychic dangers that attend literary learning about loss through human cruelty.

    Keywords: Literature, Reading, Elementary

  • Doing His Own Thing: A Mexican-American Kindergartner Becomes Literate at Home and School

    Margaret M. Mulhern

    Abstract: Examines a child's stance toward becoming literate in Spanish at home and school. Discusses the kinds of literacy activities he engaged in and the context in which he did so. Points out this child's ability to make connections between various literacy contexts, and suggests ways that teachers can foster similar connections for other children.

    Keywords: Language, Elementary

  • PROFILE: George Ancona: Photographer and Writerool

    Rosalinda Barrera

    Abstract: Presents a profile of the life and work of George Ancona, a Mexican-American writer-photographer of children's books. Notes three themes that figure prominently in his life and work: human diversity, family ties, and learning and growth.

    Keywords: Language, Literacy, Literature, Elementary

  • Bringing Life's Issues into Classrooms

    Susie Bargiel, Cathy Beck, Dick Koblitz, Anne O'Connor, Kathryn Mitchell Pierce, and Susan Wolf

    Abstract: Presents brief descriptions of 19 children's books that deal with the difficulties of life: changing family structures; abuse, neglect, and violence in the lives of children; and death and dying. Discusses the selection and use of such potentially controversial books.

    Keywords: Literature, Reading, Elementary

  • Are Goosebumps Books Real Literature?

    Leslie Anne Perry and Rebecca P. Butler

    Abstract: Argues that, regardless of whether they have literary merit, the "Goosebumps" books (a series of mildly scary horror books for preteens) are getting children hooked on reading, some of whom do not otherwise read. Discusses students' attitudes toward the series.

    Keywords: Literature, Reading, Elementary

  • Editors’ Pages

    Abstract: Available in print version only.

    Keywords: Elementary

* Journal articles are provided in PDF format and can be opened using the free Adobe® Reader® program or a comparable viewer. Click here to download and install the most recent version of Adobe Reader.

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