Thursday, July 15, 2010

Children's Books as Instructional Materials

In the recently concluded Teacher Training Workshop of the Sa Aklat Sisikat (SAS) Foundation at UP Diliman, teacher participants eagerly listened to their group facilitators (GFs) during a session on the Framework of Reading. The GFs presented one activity each for Pre-reading, During Reading and Post Reading.

These activities help in establishing a purpose for reading; arousing schema; making connections; building meaning; and creating constructs. What's cool is that local books by Filipino writers for children are used in the program. There's more to these books than mere enjoyment. These books can be used as instructional materials too.

GF Rommel shows the cover of The Crying Trees to his group. He is a public school teacher of Kalawaan Elementary School, Pasig City. He's been with SAS since 2006.

GF Cynthia explains the many values embedded in the book, Alamat ng Ampalaya. She shares how research into writing stories and a side trip to the back story of a book help in understanding the story as a whole. Cynthia teaches Reading-Grade 7 at the Grade School Department of Miriam College. She is a writer and moderator of Merry Pens, the school newspaper of Miriam Grade School.

GF Mariecar enunciates the beautiful play of words and symbols in Bruhaha! Bruhihi!. Mariecar is the coordinator of CENTEX (Ayala Foundation), a program for public school students who are identified as gifted.

Was it ever the author's intent to write stories for use in the classroom? I don't think so. A book is one of the best instructional materials in town. Textbooks, however, are another story.

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