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Language Arts, Vol. 76, No. 2, November 1998

Cover Art for Language Arts, Vol. 76, No. 2, November 1998

Table of Contents

Issue Theme: Pleasure And The Language Arts

  • Horror: To Gratify, Not Edify

    Randi Dickson

    Abstract: Examines R.L. Stine's "Goosebumps" series, and investigates why children (including the author's two daughters) like them. Explores the lures of the horror fiction genre. Suggests that the attractiveness of the genre can be found in books more rewarding in literary terms, such as those by John Bellairs. Offers suggestions about the parent's role in this process.

    Keywords: Elementary, Literature

  • Learning Is Born of Doubting: Cultivating a Skeptical Stance

    David J. Whitin and Phyllis Whitin

    Abstract: Argues that skepticism is the force that keeps inquiry in motion. Describes how two fourth-grade classes' ongoing investigations of birds fostered a skeptical stance. Relates stories from these classrooms to illustrate three strategies that support learning to be skeptics: examining knowledge in context; challenging the assumptions of models; and exposing the limitations of statistical information.

    Keywords: Elementary

  • (Com)Promising Pleasures, (Im)Mutable Masculinities

    Timothy J. Lensmire and Jeremy N. Price

    Abstract: Sets a discussion of how masculine identities are negotiated in school within a larger discussion of the relationship between pleasure, bliss, and the language arts. Concludes with three lessons learned: (1) openness solves certain problems, even as it creates others; (2) bodies and texts are different; and (3) interpretation and power matter.

    Keywords: Elementary

  • The Pleasure of Thinking

    Dennis Sumara, Brent Davis and Dolores van der Wey

    Abstract: Discusses the possibilities for pleasure, community, and collective meaning making among fifth- and sixth-grade students and various adults (teachers, parents, and school staff) during their prolonged engagement with a single literary work, Lois Lowry's "The Giver," as they read and reread the novel, annotating the text with their (changing) responses, and negotiating its (changing) meanings.

    Keywords: Elementary, Middle

  • Let's Go to the Movies: Rethinking the Role of Film in the Elementary Classroom

    Michele Whipple

    Abstract: Argues that elementary language-arts teachers should expand their definition of "text" to include film, a valuable instructional material. Notes that today's elementary students come to class with a great deal of knowledge about films--prior experiences which teachers can tap into. Discusses the application to film of reader-response theories.

    Keywords: Elementary

  • Pleasure?

    Rick Reinhard and Linda Gembrell

    Abstract: In this photo essay, the authors ask you to consider pleasure, its contexts, its relationship to camaraderie, its interiorization and exteriorization.

    Keywords: Elementary

  • America Reads: Doing Battle

    Jacqueline Edmondson

    Abstract: Critiques "America Reads," a federal initiative (launched by President Clinton in 1996) to foster universal literacy by sending a million tutors into schools. Argues that the program fails to take into account much of what is known about best practices in literacy instruction, and that inexperienced or poorly trained tutors may present more problems than solutions.

    Keywords: Elementary, Reading

  • 1998 Outstanding Educator in the Language Arts

    Joan Glazer

    Abstract: Presents a conversation with eminent educator Dorothy Strickland, 1998 Outstanding Educator in the Language Arts. Discusses her books, being a "career mom," her role in writing the report "Becoming a Nation of Readers," the cycles that reading education seems to go through, professional development, "Reading Recovery," standards, and letting the public know what education is about.

    Keywords: Elementary

  • Outstanding Nonfiction Choices for 1997

    Elaine Aoki, Julie Jensen, Richard Kerper, Ruth Nathan, Karen Patric

    Abstract: Presents descriptions of (1) the 1997 winner of the Orbis Pictus Award for Outstanding Nonfiction for Children ("An Extraordinary Life: The Story of a Monarch Butterfly"); (2) the 5 Orbis Pictus Honor Books; and (3) 12 other outstanding nonfiction titles selected by the award committee, 6 dealing with history and biography and 6 dealing with the natural world.

    Keywords: Elementary, Literature, Reading

  • 1998 Notable Children's Books in the Language Arts

    Notable Children's Books Committee

    Abstract: Presents brief descriptions of 30 children's trade books from every genre (published in 1997), selected by the Notable Children's Books Committee for their outstanding potential to enhance language awareness among students in grades K-8.

    Keywords: Elementary, Literature, Reading

  • Editors’ Pages

    Curt Dudley-Marling and Sharon Murphy

    Abstract: Abstract for this article is currently not available.

    Keywords: Elementary

  • Letters to the Editors

    Carolyn Leick, Don Graves, Russell Gersten, Steve Isaacson, Lesley Rex, Judith Green, Carol Dixon

    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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