Analyzation Of Children's Discussions On Literature

Felton, Marsha
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University of Hawaii at Manoa
The purpose of this paper is to analyze the ability of a group of above average fifth grade students to evaluate literature through discussion and from this analyzation to formulate a plan for a program in which a group of students could develop their ability to evaluate books. An editorial in the Elementary English Review has defined two levels of appreciation, first, "appreciation at the level of immediate joy and pleasure and second, appreciation that comes as a result of deliberate or purposeful cultivation or training.”1 The second level is the goal of the proposed program. The students evaluation of the plot, theme, characterization, style, and setting of four books will be analyzed with consideration of literal comprehension, but the emphasis will be placed on the student’s interpretation and critical reading. The reason for the emphasis on interpretation and critical reading is that these are the type of skills that would be present in a natural discussion. When students have read a book, they are more interested in sharing their reactions than in recounting the plot. The definition of the levels of reading comprehension used will be that of Nila Banton Smith as stated here.
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