Updated: Jul 21, 2020
Written By Sylvia Hermosillo
GLOBAL GIVE-A-BOOK NEWSLETTER / JULY 2020 The theme of the Month: Drama!
How young is too young to take your child to the theater? Believe it or not, toddlers can enjoy a theater performance. It is all about choosing the right performance. Typically, toddlers through age 4 do best with shows that include lots of opportunities for participation and are short, under an hour. Children ages 4 or 5 can enjoy a longer children’s play up to about an hour and a half as long as there is sufficient participation.
Going to the theater helps kids academically. Several studies have found a causal link between theater and academic achievement. Dr. James Catterall did a study at UCLA that showed that participation in the arts improved not only academic scores but also standardized test scores. Additionally, drama aids in children’s reading performance. Whether students participate or simply watch performances, they more clearly understand the connection between the written word and its meaning, not only for that particular piece of literature but that comprehension transfers to other pieces. Educators know that students who are also involved in the arts are less likely to drop out of school, they become more involved in community service, and they express a more positive attitude about school.
--Quote of the Month:
“Great theatre is about challenging how we think and encouraging us to fantasize about a world we aspire to.” -Willem Dafoe
Amazing Grace by Mary Hoffman is about young Grace who wants the lead in the class play of Peter Pan only to be told by her peers that she cannot have the lead because Peter is not a girl or black, but Grace shines in her audition. A very positive book about personal passion. (PreK-3rd grade)
Moses Sees a Play by Isaac Millman is the fourth in a series about Moses, a hearing-impaired child. Moses’s class of hearing-impaired children watches a play and Moses meets a young immigrant boy who knows no English and is having his own communication issues. A wonderful book that helps sensitize children to the world of the deaf. (PreK-2nd grade)
Louise the Big Cheese by Elise Primavera, illustrated by Diane Goode is about a mini-diva who, naturally, wants the part of Cinderella in the class play, Instead she is cast as the mouse (eek!) and her best friend plays Cinderella. Can Louise handle it? You bet. (K-3rd grade)
--Ask a Reading Teacher
Dear Reading Teacher,
My fourth grader only wants to read graphic novels. Help me steer him to some better material.
Sincerely, Matt’s Mom
Dear Matt’s Mom,
Pat yourself on the back that you have a son who is reading graphic novels. As much as we would love our children to be reading classics, reading anything is great for him. He is willingly practicing his reading skills. How many students complain when it comes to any kind of skill practice? Pick up one of his graphic novels and see if it can spark a conversation between you two. Good job, Mom!
All my best,
The Reading Teacher
*Due to COVID-19, we are temporarily suspending in-person programs. However, we are excited to introduce new virtual programs! Stay tuned!
Next month we will be looking at culture and diversity. How can we integrate diversity into our children’s lives? In a world that currently seems filled with divisiveness, how do we teach tolerance and inclusion? Join us next month for this timely and important topic.