A Picture is worth a thousand words. How many times have we heard that line? I think it is even more true today with social media and instagram. We look at pictures constantly and in our heads we create this wonderful magical world through the shapes and people in the photograph.
I would like to share a little research and personal statements why I think Children's literature is such a powerful tool. Diana Mitchell (2003) states, the name "picture books" evokes images of brightly colored,
beautifully illustrated books that beg to be read. No matter what our age, most of us still enjoy reading them because of their vibrant pictures, rich and evocative language, and poignant and meaningful themes. Picture books speak to us in the same way photographs do. They touch our emotions, delight our senses, appeal to our whimsy, and bring back memories of our childhood. Picture books invite us to curl up and read them. According to Debbie Miller (2002), "children learn to READ through picture books". When teaching the TOUGH reading skills (read ahead) synthesis, inferring, asking questions, and making connections) don't be afraid to USE picture books to preteach, teach, and reteach those skills.
Picture books are not just for babies or little kids they are for everyone because they all send different messages depending on reader's insight.
One of favorite research teams is Harvey and Goudvis. I say Ramona Recommends is on team Harvey and Goudvis. They say picture books are at the top for teaching comprehension. Doesnt matter what level. Bust out, "The Little Engine that Could" in your middle school English class. I am sure they would love it! "There is a picture book for every reader, there is a reader for every picture book" (Harvey and Goudvis).
What Ramona Recommends thinks Children's Literature CAN do:
-Enhance the love of reading
-Supplement for content area concepts
-Be a teacher itself
-A Mini vacation for FREE!
-Support English language learners
-Give a little smile to book overs
-Be just what every kid needs to be successful in the 21st century.
-Help with reading comprehension
Share your love for READING! That one book you read in your classroom or at story time could change the world for your student. Help them OPEN THE MAGIC!
*All colored text in this post is quoted. If need be, I have my masters papers with full works cited. I also have my complete papers where I took these quotes from.