Reading for pleasure...reading for power
The philosophy behind the resources
Teaching children to be fully and intuitively literate is to give young people a lifelong source of potential. A fluent reader has the ability to access texts that can inspire, motivate, teach and reassure, whilst a competent writer possesses the tools to convey opinions, reflect their knowledge and communicate feelings. The importance of encouraging children to read for pleasure goes without saying, but it is also important that we are actively teaching children to read for power.
When we, as adults, read, we take so much in automatically; we can note the significance or beauty of word choices and glean muti-layered messages without needing to stop and analyse them first. Our role as teachers needs to be to show children how to gradually move from learning these skills to finding them to be an innate part of themselves as readers. The ability to read analytically is not limited to the written word. The skills we teach children when approaching a text are the same abilities that allow them to navigate their world: to read others' expressions and tones; to recognise bias, political intention, the message in what lies unsaid; to appreciate irony and see the beauty in details. In teaching these skills, we give children a voice and the confidence to use it.
Year 6 Reading Skills based on World War 1 and 'War Horse'
This unit is designed as a means of providing background knowledge, and as an accompaniment, to 'War Horse' by Michael Morpurgo. It incorporates a wide range of reading skills and text types, as well as featuring texts that were going to be taught as writing tasks within the teaching of this unit.