See Dick and Jane Read Current Events

Another topic of interest that has been coming up in the survey responses pertains to readability of materials written for kids. For some folks, magazine articles written in a format children can easily read by themselves is a high priority (sort of a Dick and Jane for world news topics). Others much prefer stories that, while simply written for children to understand, are not filled with five-words-or-less sentences.

What’s the priority to you? If you have emerging readers in your home or classroom, would you prefer to hand them a publication they can totally read to themselves, or do you prefer longer sentence structure even if it means you have to sit and read it to the children yourself?

What about pre-readers? Are pictures worth 1,000 words?

7 Comments

Filed under How Kids Think

7 responses to “See Dick and Jane Read Current Events

  1. Marcie

    If this were a science/nature magazine, I’d prefer something the kids can read alone. However, I can’t imagine that a magazine covering current events would avoid topics that are difficult/sensitive. Therefore, I’d like for it to be structured so that I would read it to my kids. That would allow me to see how they are reacting to the topic and it would build in accountability for me to interact with them over the issues presented.

  2. Lorri

    My preference is for more complicated word structure than my kids are able to read on their own. Well actually my 8 yr old reads already above her level so a kid type magazine with large print and short sentences would be kind of irritating for her.

    My 5 yr old is just a beginner reader – but I would prefer it to be above his reading level. With me reading along with the child or reading to them – gives me the opportunity to discuss what is being presented to them – and a way to make sure they don’t just hastily skim over the reading topic.

    Ever since the kids were very young – I have read above their reading levels and they both have enjoyed it. Sometimes my 8 yr old is made to sit and listen to something she can read herself or is “below” her reading level while I read to both children. I think both is good.

    I think it’s boring for kids to read short sentences …when making something easier to understand – I think a lot of important stuff is left out.

  3. Perhaps a mixture of both, perhaps with a few more “read aloud” type articles than the emergent reading type. Also include excellent pictures that tell a story. I think personal stories spun off of a current event, and even stories of what is going on in the lives of other children in other parts of the world and in different circumstances than the magazine base demographic. I think this could be done in a way that would appeal to various ages of children, not just the youngest.

  4. graceful

    I second Leslie’s ideas! Perhaps have one section or page that’s always written for emergent readers and the rest be more appropriate for reading aloud or for kids with higher reading skills. And there should definitely be great pictures, maps, timelines, etc. to help with context and to get across that current events are real things happening in real places.

  5. I agree it would be wonderful to have ONE publication that contained material for emerging readers and readers who are ready for more. I would love for our daughter who is just reading now to wrestle with some harder material for a while and then come and ask for help. I would also love some read aloud, point to maps, etc. time with her that might lead to good conversation. I also like the idea of there being some project ideas which require both adult help and some younger ones might be able to do alone.

  6. I also prefer more read-aloud suitable materials, although in a long-enough publication, a simpler story for practicing reading might be OK. Generally I would prefer to worry about teaching reading as a separate part of the curriculum and continue to read aloud more challenging material in other subjects until they are ready to read interesting things for themselves. I don’t want their ability to interact with ideas limited by their reading ability.

  7. mama2tlc

    The JRR Tolkein books were originally published with elementary school children as the intended audience. The standard of reading for children and adults in our country has declined. There is a slew of easy to read beginner books for children. I am in favor of a higher standard, more complicated reading level. The reading level needs to match the inteded audience. You wouldn’t write stories for 7/8th grade at a 2nd grade level. So, the maturity level of the articles would direct the reading level.
    Also a more complicated level will build vocabulary and challenge a student to a higher reading level.

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