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Discovering the Depth in Graphic Novels

Edutopia – Jason DeHart

“In spite of their reputation for simplicity, graphic novels can display a surprising level of depth. This sense of depth can come through in a variety of ways—from the language to the interplay of words and images to the themes that can be explored in visual texts. And like novels, graphic novels employ a range of literary conventions, so they’re ripe for classroom discussion.” (more)

Women Are Superior Wordsmiths From an Early Age

The Pacific Standard – Tom Jacobs

“Much has been written about the fact boys tend to perform better than girls at math. But this focus has largely overshadowed a larger and more worrisome gender gap in an even more fundamental domain: reading and writing. A new study featuring data on more than three million American students reports girls outperform boys in reading and writing skills in fourth grade, and that gap increases over their next eight years of schooling.” (more)

Storytelling connects children with history, families and each other

The Miami Herald – Kathleen Dexter, M.S.W.

“Few things bond a family more than shared tales and experiences. Not only is storytelling fun — who doesn’t love hearing about the good-natured scrapes a parent got into when they were their age or what life was like in the “olden” days for grandma — but the regular exchange of stories, be they personal histories or tales of fiction, can make a significant positive impact on your child’s development.” (more)

Letting boys read what they want can help boost lagging language scores, Colorado educators say

The Denver Post – Monte Whaley

“Reading experts lay the blame for boys’ lagging reading skills on physical and emotional factors. Boys tend to be more fidgety in elementary school classrooms, making it harder for them to focus and settle down long enough to read a book. Girls, meanwhile, generally do better than boys in verbal ability, giving them an early advantage in learning to read, psychologists Paula Schwanenflugel and Nancy Flanagan Flapp wrote in Psychology Today.” (more)

Six things you should do when reading with your kids

Medical X-Press – Ameneh Shahaeian

“There is magic in stories. We all remember hearing them as children, and we loved them. Imaginary adventures set in faraway places. Tales about how the dishwasher isn’t working. It doesn’t matter! Whether made up by parents or read from books, kids love to hear stories. Our recent work showed reading to children positively impacts long term academic achievement more than many other activity (including playing music with them, or doing craft). We found the more frequently parents read to their children, the better their children’s NAPLAN scores in different areas.” (more)

4 reasons why some children have difficulty learning to read

E-School News – Julia Ottesen

“According to Hill for Literacy, about 66 percent of fourth-grade readers cannot read proficiently, which often translates into a growing achievement gap for these children. Why is reading such a difficult task to learn and teach? While humans are born with a natural ability for spoken language, reading is much different. In fact, Dr. Vera Blau-McCandliss, vice president of education and research at Square Panda, said that reading is a relatively new and unnatural phenomenon which she described in “Reading and the Brain.”” (more)