Responses to Postmodern Picture Books: A Case Study of a Fourth Grade Book Club

Responses to Postmodern Picture Books: A Case Study of a Fourth Grade Book Club

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This qualitative research project: (1) describes the oral and written characteristics of a group of fourth graders to postmodern picture books during literature discussion groups, and (2) analyzes the children's responses to reflect how the fourth graders interacted with the textual features of postmodern picture books, as well as how the fourth graders' oral and written responses revealed their cultural backgrounds. Five fourth graders at Northview Elementary School in Manhattan, Kansas, participated in ten, 15-20 minute before reading and 10, 40-50 during and after reading literature discussions of a set of ten postmodern picture books. Students met twice weekly over a period of ten weeks, from November 29, 2005 until February 16, 2006. The fourth graders read the picture books independently, used sticky notes as text markers to show what they found funny, interesting, or confusing, and returned to Book Club during reading to discuss their sticky notes. Book selections included well-known postmodern writers who include meta-fictive devices---multiple narratives, graphic use of visual symbolism, graphic details in forms and formats, self-referentiality, and humor or irony---in their writing of postmodern picture books. Analysis of data revealed children's responses as reflective of Dresang's (1999) literary theory for contemporary children's literature: connectivity, interactivity, and access. The fourth graders' responses revealed both connectivity and interactivity, with much of their verbal and written responses during and after reading reflecting interactions with textual features of the postmodern picture books. Interactivity revealed high levels of thinking and connectivity was revealed through the children's non-print media connections. By using a literature discussion group model, the fourth graders' verbal interactions allowed others to access their background experiences and knowledge. Access to each other also provided opportunities for the students to construct meaning together. Postmodern picture books can be resources for the language arts teacher, in that the picture books encourage use of the strategy of visualization and utilization of high level thinking. Using postmodern picture books within a partnership model of literature discussions can provide an effective instructional technique that enhances the quality of children's learning by providing an opportunity to interact with peers.Lehr and Thompson (2000) observed that the fifth grade literature discussion groups in their study aquot;couldna#39;t always or didna#39;t ... Similarly, Kong and Pearson ( 2003) noted that through the teachera#39;s effective scaffolding of literacy practices andanbsp;...

Title:Responses to Postmodern Picture Books: A Case Study of a Fourth Grade Book Club
Author:Gayla S. Lohfink
Publisher:ProQuest - 2006


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