Erica’s books have been a source of joy in my house and lessons, and Taya is one of the most positive preteen heroines girls could have. Read all about why her creator, Erica Gore, loves her. Why I Love Taya Taya Bayliss (Taya Bayliss Mysteries) is the bold, daring little girl that I wanted to […]
Category: Reading and readers
Reading relaxes the body and calms the mind.
This is an important point. These days we seem to have forgotten how to relax and especially how to be silent. When we have time to ourselves, we have a tendency to veg out in front of some sort of screen. I have to admit that I am guilty of this. It is actually quite stressful for our brains and can interfere with our sleeping. Reading, in silence, black print on a white page is much less stressful for our eyes and brains. That is why a bedtime story has always been such a good idea.
So, you see, reading very definitely IS important and magical. It is important for you now, and it is going to be an important part of your futures.
I am going to finish with a quote from author Mark Haddon.
He said. “Reading is a conversation. All books talk. But a good book listens as well.”
Reading is a great form of entertainment.
Whatever your interest, there is a book about it. There are millions and millions of books easily available in a variety of forms.
A book doesn’t take up much space so you can take it anywhere. These days you carry thousands of books around easily with one of those eReaders.
Personally, I prefer the feel (and smell) of an actual book. I did, however, buy an eReader to take on holiday a couple of years ago. My husband found it and that was the end of that. He has now commandeered it as his own and carries it with him everywhere.
My mother used to say that you are never lonely or bored if you have a book to read. And she was right! You can read anywhere, anytime.
Reading develops empathy.
When we are engaged in a story, we’re also imagining how the characters are feeling. We use our own experiences to imagine how we would feel in the same situation. This ability to put ourselves in someone else’s shoes is a valuable skill and serves us well as we go through life.
Reading stories to (and with) our children provides us with opportunities to discuss how the characters are feeling about or reacting to the situations they are facing. I have had very philosophical discussions with students and with my own children during/following the reading of stories.
What might cause Miss Trunchbull to become such a horrible person? Do animals have the same feelings as humans? Is it ever okay to tell a lie? It never ceases to amaze me how profound the thinking of children can be.
Adults often underestimate the wisdom of children.
Reading develops imagination.
I met a dragon face to face
The year that I was ten.
I took a trip to outer space.
I braved a pirate’s den.
I wrestled with a wicked troll,
And fought a great white shark.
I trailed a rabbit down a hole.
I hunted for a snark.
I stowed aboard a submarine.
I opened magic doors.
I travelled in a time machine
And searched for dinosaurs.
I climbed atop a giant’s head.
I found a pot of gold.
I did all this in books I read
When I was ten years old.
When we read, our brains translate descriptions of people, places and things into pictures. In books nothing is impossible.
Books take us to amazing places, give us super powers and introduce us to fantastic creatures. Books give us mysteries to solve, dangerous situations to escape from and dastardly villains to overcome. Our minds take the author’s words and create those wondrous worlds for us to explore.
Where did books take you when you were ten years old?
This one follows on from yesterday’s magic.
Reading benefits every school subject.
No matter what you are studying: art, music, history, geography, maths, English, physics…reading is basic.
Without strong reading skills, you cannot achieve your potential.
You could be the best mathematician in the world, but if you can’t read the problem and figure out what it asking you to do, you can’t get top marks.
Reading improves vocabulary and leads to more highly developed language skills.
In schools these days teachers are having to spend much of their time preparing students for batteries of standardised tests. I, for one, am glad I am no longer a classroom teacher.
I would find it extremely difficult to teach that way. My beliefs about how children learn do not coincide with those of the current powers that be.
I believe that children learn best when they are having fun, enjoying the challenge of the learning experience. I believe they learn quickly and easily when the learning experience is set in narrative. I used stories as the base for my teaching units. My core belief that stories provide children with a means of engaging with, and forming deeper understanding of, the world around them proved most successful in encouraging learning.
We learn new words as we read. We unconsciously absorb information about those words, how they are spelt, how authors structure interesting sentences with those words. This is how we learn to write more effectively.
Test time magic.
Reading teaches us about the world around us.
One of the world’s great philosophers, and my personal favourite, Dr Seuss, sums this up in just a few words.
“The more you read, the more you will know, the more you will learn, the more places you’ll go.”
Books are like windows to the world. Reading opens those windows for us.
Think of places you’d like to go, things you’d like to do, people you’d like to meet.
You can find them all in books.
Oh, that’s definitely magic.
Reading improves concentration and focus. We live in the information age. A fast-paced world where we are surrounded by gadgets feeding us words, data, statuses, links, ads and all sorts of other information that we cannot possibly process and digest. It can be an overwhelming situation, especially for children. But there is a solution – pick up a book.
Reading requires active engagement and concentration – it completely absorbs your mind. The more you train your mind to concentrate, the easier it becomes. Better concentration leads to clearer thinking.
Note to adults re retention of brain function as we age. We need that magic.
If you ask anyone if it is important to read, they will say ‘What a stupid question – of course it is important to read. Everybody should know how to read.’
But there’s more to it than knowing HOW to read.
The great novelist, Stephen King, said ‘Books are a uniquely portable form of magic.’
And what is the key to that form of magic? Reading. Let’s think about why that is. What is magical about reading?
Here are nine forms of the magic.
Reading exercises the brain.
Researchers have found that being engrossed in a book enhances connectivity in the brain and improves brain function. They scanned people’s brains before, during and after a reading session. They found that the areas of the brain associated with language and comprehension light up when we read. Interestingly, those same areas stay lit up for some time after we stop reading. Our brains are processing and storing information and building understanding for several hours, even days sometimes, after we finish reading. Children who read often and widely become better readers, more fluent and more expressive, because their brains make connections more easily. Cognitive Magic!
Stay tuned for more of the magic of reading.
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