L. HowardSince I teach Language Arts and Social Studies, I can include the four stages of bibliotherapy in book clubs, interactive reading, and blogging. I encourage my students to make connections as they read. Students participate in discussions about the book they are reading, deepening their understanding about the characters, plot, and theme. At the same time, they develop insight into their lives through reading, reflecting, and sharing. Over time, they can see the universalization amongst people and that "our difficulties and sense of difference are not ours alone" (Kindle location 4045). I think that this idea of bibliotherapy can help our kids realize that they are not alone in this world, and that we are all more alike than different.
Trying to include the four stages of bibliotherapy in a Pre-Algebra class can be quite challenging. However, going back to our main focus, the students, it is definitely an appropriate conversation starter in between or during non-instrcution times. I often find that connecting with GT students is easier when you find a topic that they enjoy discussing and actively engage them in a conversation about it. Even as simple as asking them what they are reading, what it's about, who the main character is, etc. and they will usually go from there, telling you everything you ever needed to know about that book. I think by continuing to converse with them, you can get to a point where you find out if they relate to a character in the book, and more importantly, they find out that they can relate to experiences that one or more characters have to experiences of their own.
In response to Hannah B on July 17th- I bet it is challenging to include the four stages of Bibliotherapy in Pre-Algebra. I wonder if you could try some of this through topics? It is much easier in Language Arts to include the four stages and for students to be able to connect with characters and experiences.
I teach Language Arts as well as U.S. History to the gifted learner. Basically teaching history through the novel. With this integrated style curriculum model, I feel the 4 stages of bibliotherapy are achieved. While teaching the elements of literary analysis, I require students to ‘journal’ in AP style response to text evidence they choose from each read that “speaks” to them or is meaningful to the plot or theme. Students must include some insight from themselves as an outside piece: relationships, history, personal, fictional characters and real people. These entries are periodically and systematically collected by me where I write comments back to the student either challenging them to look deeper, agreeing with their conclusion, or empathizing with their situation. This method has allowed me to get to know my students quickly and assess issues emotionally or socially which therefore will allow conversations to begin on helping them.
The four stages of Bibliotherapy can be included in my classroom for all students including gifted students. During my book clubs students pick from varieties of titles and genre. Identification, catharsis, insight and universalization are all addressed. Students meet to discuss and use response journals that give insight of their thoughts on a personal and as the character of the book. They also extend with book projects to challenge them into deeper connection of the characters.
In my Science classroom there is hardly time to get through the curriculum that we have, however we have made a big push these last two years to include more and more individual reading. We all have sat through professional development about how important reading is, and understand the importance of it. I feel like we could use the four stages of bibliotherapy by finding some science fiction books that relate to the topics we are currently discussing. While these books would have some fiction in them, there are great books out there that I have flipped through that actually teach Science without the students even noticing. Having them do it as table groups with different titles, or the same book with different sections assigned to each group, or having them just find a book that has something to do with our topic, I think it could be interesting. The ideas of what could be done with the information afterwards are endless, and could be very helpful to my teaching. The first step for me I would think is to search for some titles that correlate with our lessons coming up and give it a test run. Ryan Harvey
I agree with Mr. Harvey about using science fiction reading in the classroom about current topics that are being taught. I like his idea that this is a way to flip the learning in class from teacher directed to student directed. Anytime students are in charge of their learning it increases their knowledge in a meaningful way. I also agree that time should be spent planning out what possible topics and books would work together.
There continues to be a push to increase reading literacy in the classroom. In my science classroom I have incorporated more topic specific reading over the last couple of years. This is a good start but it does not address the social/emotional needs of my students. Page 212 states that bibliotherapy can be an aid to personal problem solving and help with socialization. My GT students tend to be voracious readers. Especially in the realm of fantasy or science fiction. I should incorporate more science fiction reading in the class that allows them to explore topics in more unusual ways. This high interest reading allows students to exponentially increase their learning and also helps them to relate to one another. Having time to talk and debate with other students over what they read allows them to gain a higher insight into how and what they learn. This can excite the learner to continue to explore new STEM subjects.
I agree with Laura's August 10th post, that I too should include more science fiction and possibly more nonfiction novels/connections within the curriculum. At times, it seems that all we do is fiction with poetry, plays etc. however a challenge could be to have the students connect to a nonfiction person/event that correlates to the class book.
Teaching ELA, incorporating the 4 stages of bibliotheraphy to me, is almost an expected practice. So, when conducting book studies, the group topics/discussions can fall into place with the 4 stages. I like to introduce the arts when making the catharis stage and possibly the insight/universalization. Many times I have my students, while reading, discuss main event or themes and find music that also creates that theme inn them when we listen to it. Another way, I give them art books and of course access to the internet for art pieces that connect to the book. The students must relate to the class how the items relate to the book by theme, character, emotion etc. I find it gives them a way to individualize the book for them and I can also see if they ‘got’ the book’s message by the way they compare it to their outside piece.
I believe that bibliotherapy can be used as an activity for kids to get to know each other. In allowing them to talk about the books they are reading or are interested in, we can gain important insights about our students. Among themselves, students can establish connections through shared experiences which can promote integration and help dispel feelings of isolation or of being the odd man out. (PV)