My students are a diverse bunch, ranging in age from 8-12 years. They come from over six different countries and three continents. Many are coming to school and hearing English spoken for the first time. Others were born in the United States but are experiencing academic language for the first time. My students are very curious and are quickly learning conversational English just by being in school and making friends. Reading books is one of the best ways for students to practice and learn English.
Reading books that have characters that students can see themselves in is crucial to a student's development, especially when they are not also reflected in the curriculum.
When students read books where they see themselves they feel valued. I want to start a lending library for students in grades 3-6. They will be able to borrow books to read at home to themselves or with their families. The books will be diverse and represent all students.
If we want children to choose to read, then we need to have books that children can see themselves in. I would like to start a lending library for the students at my school. Students will be able to select books that they are interested in reading. They will be able to borrow one book at a time and when they return the book they will be able to choose a new book.
This lending library will be a "bridge" between school and home culture.
Providing books for students to borrow and read at home with family members connects the two places where children are learning. Students will be able to write short recommendations of books chosen to leave for each other as a way to engage and motivate each other to read new and different titles.
Many of the titles I have chosen are graphic novels. For many of my students, they are less threatening because of the pictorial support.
My second language learners can more easily understand the story
being told. They don't have to commit to a 500-page novel and the storytelling is often just as complex. They are perfect for my students!
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