PS/IS 686 | Brooklyn, NY

Grade 5 Humanities: Why Read?

Do you ever ask yourself or your child this question? Why read? I find it so interesting when I ask students this question and it makes them ponder for a few moments…we read to know that we are not alone, we read because it is fun, we read to imagine, we read to broaden our knowledge and perspective, we read to escape reality, we read to understand and make meaning, to feel, to become the characters we get to know, to go on the mysterious, suspense-filled or humorous adventures, to learn the life-long lessons, to feel the triumphs, changes and challenges one faces, to empathize with the protagonists and antagonists…we don’t read to simply “get smarter” which is a pattern in response that I noticed from some students. If a child does not make time to read or doesn’t enjoy reading, he/she probably hasn’t found a book or a character or a genre to fall in love with. Language and reading and writing and speaking are all interconnected. The most beautiful part about reading is IMAGINING (being able to see beyond the realms of the literal world and go deeper into a more divergent abstract one…portals!

Fifth grade readers REFLECT a lot. Reflection comes in many different forms and ways. We sometimes reflect by taking a quote, moment, event, character or time that speaks to us to illustrate our interpretation and meaning behind what it depicts. See our reading reflection art work hanging up in our classroom the next time you visit! We also reflect through “book talks” by sharing, adding on and growing our ideas together and sometimes we reflect through writing.

Here are some of our written reflections from our current Historical Fiction read aloud Esperanza Rising, which we will be finishing really soon. The goal was to focus on identifying and elaborating on the theme.

Our next class read aloud is Number the Stars by Lois Lowry.

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