Literature is such an inherent part of education that it’s difficult to imagine teaching a child without the help of great writing. Books provide children with a window into another world. Through books a child can enter the mind of someone else, learn about their home environment, their country and their beliefs. They can be an escape and a refuge for children in a busy world which at times, may seem challenging or even frightening. A favourite book never changes.
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Literature offers shared experience
The child who can access a wide variety of quality literature immediately has access to the chance to experience the lives of people from different time periods, different socio-economic backgrounds, different cultures and viewpoints.
It enables children to think in new ways and improves reasoning abilities. It can also open minds to new philosophies and as a result, teach children to be more inclusive. Showing children that the world is bigger than their own experience is vital, this prep school in London believes that all children are curious by nature and so learning through literature is a wonderful way to help them express themselves.
The choices of literature
There are so many fine examples of literature for children, so it’s possible to separate them into categories. We can consider period literature first. The works of Dickens for example offer an insight into the problems experienced by children during the 1800s. And how poverty affected even the youngest members of society.
We can also look at classic literature from other countries. Little Women is a great example of how girls considered different aspects of life to be important. Also what mattered morally in those times.
Books like these can allow children to learn the art of debate as classroom discussions can get very lively when we offer children the chance to talk about the issues affecting people of the past.
More modern options include the works of Barry Hines who wrote the coming-of-age novel A Kestrel for a Knave; books like this are particularly relevant for young teens who will relate to the character of Kes and his struggles.
Books are vitally important
With a rich and varied selection on offer, children’s literature is vitally important in schools. And as children grow, their choices become even wider to include classics aimed at adults.
It doesn’t matter how the works are read – via electronic devices or books, what matters is that they are read. And that new works are consistently provided so that children may continue to have their minds expanded.
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