Reader Response in Elementary Classrooms : Quest and Discovery book cover
1st Edition

Reader Response in Elementary Classrooms
Quest and Discovery

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ISBN 9780805822601
Published November 1, 1996 by Routledge
384 Pages

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Book Description

Reading is a quest. Likened to an adventure -- both metaphoric and real -- the quest is a journey of discovery. The reader's search encompasses the sensations of the experience itself, accompanying emotions, sense and meaning engendered by the experience, and understandings of the self, others, and the world around. Out of curiosity, readers also search for an extensive array of information. The journey can be envisioned and contemplated again and again after the reading act itself is completed. In a meaningful way, the reader's quest and its discoveries are life enduring and life fulfilling.

The purpose of this volume is two-fold:
* to establish and explore the essential features of reader response theory and its rendering of the reading process, and
* to acknowledge a philosophy of teaching and to illustrate teaching strategies to evoke and enhance readers' responses. Understanding the ways in which the reader affects the reading and how the reading happens will illuminate classroom pedagogy.

This text establishes and explores the essential features of reader response theory and its rendering of the reading process. The essays acknowledge a philosophy of teaching and illustrate a spectrum of teaching strategies to evoke and enhance readers' responses, including whole and small-group discussion; story drama; readers' theatre; journal writing; scripts, letters, stories, and other writings; and "body punctuation." A case study format is used to illustrate these strategies in action in real classrooms.

Table of Contents

Contents: Preface. Part I: Transactional Theory and Literature-Based Teaching. N.J. Karolides, Reading Process: Transactional Theory in Action. C. Cox, Literature-Based Teaching: A Student Response-Centered Classroom. Part II: Initiating and Developing Readers' Responses: Classroom Case Studies. S. Allen, P. Reed, Talking About Literature "In-Depth": Teacher Supported Group Discussions in a Fifth-Grade Classroom. P. Enciso, B. Edmiston, Drama and Response to Literature: Reading the Story, Re-Reading "The Truth." A.H. Mitchell, If I Were a Poet, I'd Say Something Beautiful. E.J. Davis, Bringing Literature to Life Through Readers' Theatre. E.B. Smith, C.D. Nelson, Body Punctuation: Reader Response in Motion. K. Hirsh, "I Can't Be Pippi 'Cause I'm Afraid to Live Alone'": Third Graders Respond to Novels. R.J. Meyer, Transactions in Action: Life in the Second Grade. P. Boyd-Batstone, Learning to Work Together in a Third-Grade Bilingual Classroom: From Transmission to Transactional Instruction With Literature. Part III: Exploring Issues: Content Area Applications. C.C. Pappas, A. Barry, Scaffolding Urban Students' Initiations: Transactions in Reading Information Books in the Reading Aloud Curriculum Genre. R. Small, Jr., A. Dean, Sharing the Responses of Readers: An Interdisciplinary Pumpkins Unit in the First Grade. E.A. Poe, N. Hicks, Journeying Through the Eastern Hemisphere: Listening and Responding to Many Voices. J.K. Spink, The Aesthetics of Informational Reading. Part IV: Professional Development. L. Karnowski, Reconsidering Teachers' Roles and Procedures: Developing Dialoguing Skills. K.G. Velsor, J. O'Neill, The Making of a Bicultural Teacher: A Classroom Case Study. C. Russell, Reader Response: One District's Initiatives.

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Nicholas J. Karolides Nicholas J. Karolides, professor of English, University of Wisconsin-River Falls, frequently consults, about curriculum development and reader-response classroom applications. His experiences include middle-school teaching. His m ajor publications include The Pioneer in the American Novel, Focus on Physical Im pairments and Focus on Fitness (coauthored with daughter Melissa), Reader Response in the Classroom (editor), and Censored books: Critical Viewpoints (coeditor), which in 1995 was named Outstanding Book by the Gustavus Myers Center for the Study of Human Rights in North America. He was honored in 1994 with the University of Wisconsin Regents Excellence in Teaching Award.


"The contributors to this volume are a good mix of university and classroom researchers, and each has an interesting story to tell or observation to make. Karolides' commentary preceding each chapter makes thismore than a collection of good ideas, guiding the novice reader to understand how reader response theory can be realized in classroom practice."
Lee Glada-Pelligrini
University of Georgia

"Teachers in our college learning communities will like this book....the case studies are so clear; there doesn't seem to be any magic needed to support this instructional strategy. I leave with the feeling that I can actually do this."
R. Kay Moss
Illinois State University

"Reflects current thinking on reader response theory, especially that of Louise Rosenblatt. Other important theory related to reader response is also addressed, including constructivist viewpoints and social interactionist theory....An excellent addition to our professional knowledge base."
Mary F. Heller
Kansas State University