Story: Still the Heart of Literacy Learning
Katie Cunningham’s Story reminds us that stories found in literature, poetry, music, art and illustration, multimedia, and throughout all aspects of our lives serve to move us, inform us, and call us to action. What’s more, these narratives provide an invaluable teaching resource to attract young readers and writers and, subsequently, to deepen their understanding of the world. Cunningham offers intriguing and effective steps to help our students strengthen their literacy skills through the reading and writing of story, and it is my hope that this book will encourage teachers to restore the study of story to its rightful place in the curriculum.
Stories surround us, support us, and sustain us. We see and hear them when walking down the street, on our digital newsfeeds, in our interactions with one another, in the ways our students play, and in literature, poetry, music, images, multimedia, and dramatic works.
While acknowledging the importance of teaching students strategies to read different kinds of text, to write across genres, and to speak and listen with purpose, Katie Egan Cunningham reminds us that when we bridge strategy with the power of story, we deepen literacy learning and foster authentic engagement. Story: Still the Heart of Literacy Learning compels us to ask crucial questions: Why do stories matter? Whose stories count? Where do stories live? How do stories come alive? How do we build stories? How do we talk about stories? And why does this work take courage?
Katie shares her story as a classroom teacher, literacy specialist, staff developer, and professor. She shows teachers how to create classrooms of caring and inquisitive readers, writers, and storytellers. Katie explains specific ways to build a classroom library that reflects our diverse society through rich, purposeful, and varied texts. She also provides numerous examples of multigenre and multimodal stories from children’s and young adult literature, poetry, songs, and multimedia. The practical toolkit at the end of each chapter demonstrates how to make stories come alive in any classroom.
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