Children's Literature: culturally responsive teaching

This weblog is a project for Education 642, Children's written and oral genres, a course for elementary education students at UNBC (Prince George, BC). Its purpose is to provide an opportunity for students to experience how literature "opens up worlds"-- the social, emotional, imaginative, spritual, the cultural and the aesthetic.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

And now for something completely different... I am going to prepare an audio blog and post it for you to try out. I was quite intriqued with the possiblities that this technology offers: for example, you can use this feature as a way of keeping your blog up to date even when you are unable to access your computer. It relies on that "old fashioned" technology, the phone!

My purpose is to engage you in the "orality" of our course: as you know it is referred to as "oral and written genres". As we discussed briefly in class, we tend to confine our beliefs about literacy to reading and writing standard texts, and give less emphasis to the practices of orality. Of course, oral communication is central to our day to day lives, but it tends to have less of a formal emphasis in most classrooms: in fact, it is an assumed skill that students are expected to have. It is the interpretation function of orality that might be of most signficance to us as teachers: remember in the article, "The three robbers" how the verbal clues were central to the teacher becoming much more conscious of the cutlural and social interpretations of the children in her class? Attending to oral conventions then, could be a very important way of understanding some children's experiences, and then using this knoweldge to adapt our instruction for enhanced learning.

For this first post however, I'm going to read some poetry to you. You might want to consdier how my reading tone, phrasing or other features of this oral reading affect you as a listener. How does listening to poetry differ from listening to a fictional narrative? Do you use different skills? Do you bring a particular "mind set" about poetry to the listening that effects how you respond? Does poetry evoke the same feelings for you as other genres of literature?

I'm not sure exactly where on my blog this link will show up, so you may have to look around a bit to find it. As noted earlier, this is a bit of a technological experiment, so I expect I'll get better over time. If anyone else wants to experiment with oral posts, please feel free. I'd be really itnerested to see what creative uses you can make out of this feature of



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