Archive for September, 2012

Reading children’s literature

One of the units of study I have lectured in at university this year has been Children’s Literature, with a particular focus on using children’s literature in the classroom. All of my students for this unit are teachers in training, all of them eager to gather ideas for incorporating literature in their future classrooms.

It has been a rewarding time for me as it has renewed my enthusiasm for reading children’s literature. When I was a classroom teacher, and earlier in my career when I was a teacher/librarian, I would regard the reading of children’s books as a professional requirement. I am a voracious reader, so this was no hardship. After one little forgettable incident, I resolved never to read a book to a class without having read it privately first. I still believe this to be a wise policy for any classroom teacher or children’s librarian.

In recent months I have read a wide variety of picture books, chapter books for emerging readers, novels for older readers and non-fiction for various year levels. Sadly, I haven’t had time to review any of them here. In time I hope to regularly get back to reviewing the books I read. In the meantime, if it has been some time since reading a children’s book, why not borrow a few from your local library? Many of the titles published in the last decade are fine examples of excellent writing; some are just as challenging to read as adult books. And often far more interesting and captivating.

If you read a good book that you’d like to recommend – children’s or other – write about it in the comments section. I’d like to know, and so would my readers, I’m sure.

Good reading – and writing.

Writing prompt: visiting family

Over the last year my wife and I have probably travelled long distances more often than normal to visit family in different parts of our state, interstate and even overseas (when we went to Ethiopia to visit our daughter who was teaching there).

Family visits can be interesting times – from very pleasant through to totally forgettable. Some are necessary, some are overdue and others sadly generate renewed friction. On three occasions this year already we have travelled long distances to spend time with our two grandchildren (age 4 and 1). These are times of delight as we bond with them, get to know their developing characters and play with them. It can be a bitter/sweet time as well – especially when we say goodbye because we need to travel home again. Skype is a great blessing, but you can’t give hugs over the internet.

Today’s writing prompt: write about your last visit to a family member, either close-by or far away. Describe how it went and what happened. Was it an enjoyable occasion? Or a visit to forget?

Good writing.

PS: I must apologise for the long gap since my last post here. I have been very busy with my lecturing commitments, as well as being very ill over the last two months. I think I’ve turned the corner as far as my health is concerned, and the semester at university is drawing to a close. Stay tuned for more frequent and regular posts here on this site.