Posted on 03/18/2014 at 01:21 PM by Global Reach

The Roles of Children’s Literature in the Primary Grades

By:  Frank Serafini and Lindsey Moses


Blog Written By:  Teresa Murray, NWAEA Instructional/CIM Coach


Ten Ways Children’s Literature can be

Integrated into the Beginning Reading Workshop



  1. Children’s Literature as a Space for Thoughtful Discussion:

            Texts teachers read to students can be more complex than the texts students read independently.  The interactive read-aloud allows opportunities for teachers to introduce new types of stories and information and allows readers to share their ideas and learn from others.


  1. Children’s Literature as a Catalyst for Building a Community of Readers:

            Teachers can engage students in thoughtful dialog about important topics such s bullying or making a difference.  Book clubs, literature discussion groups, and book talks are all great opportunities for building a community of readers through student-led interactions and conversation.


  1. Children’s Literature as a Vicarious Experience:

            Children’s literature provides a platform for children to experience people, places, and circumstances that they may not be able to experience in real life.  This helps foster tolerance and acceptance in our children. 


  1. Children’s Literature for Developing Curiosity and Imagination:

            Reading aloud to children and letting them discuss what they have visualized during the read-aloud fosters imagination and supports for the understanding of text and the world around them. 


  1. Children’s Literature as Example of Language Play:

            Reading aloud stories with a whimsical language encourages students to explore ways to experiment with oral and written language


  1. Children’s Literature for Developing Narrative Competencies:

            Wordless picture books develop a sense of story and the various ways that narratives work. 


  1. Children’s Literature as Mentor Texts for Writing:

“Reading like a writer” is a phrase surrounding the use of mentor texts in reading

and writing workshops.  Mentor texts can encourage children in their own writing and enjoyment.


  1. Children’s Literature for Developing a Sense of Being a Reader:

The challenges of reading can be highlighted to help students deal with the

complexities of the reading process.  Literature enables students to share their own concerns and successes in a relatively risk-free environment. 


  1. Children’s Literature as a Way of Coming to Know the World:

Informational texts spark curiosity, encourage further reading and research, and

answer many questions students pose. 


  1. Children’s Literature as a Way of Developing Reading Abilities:

Teachers can demonstrate proficient reading through think-alouds making available

their questioning and meaning-making strategies during the act of reading. 


***To read the full article, please locate the March 2014 issue of The Reading Teacher


Serafini, F., & Moses, L. (2014).  The roles of children’s literature in the primary grades.  The Reading

Teacher, 67(6), 465-468. 


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