If you are flirting with the idea of incorporating a reading component into your FACS curriculum, you will want to run the idea by your school administration to get their feedback and approval. I can practically guarantee you an overwhelmingly positive response from your principal and superintendent, but it would still be a good idea to have thought through your justification for including reading fiction as part of your curriculum. Here are some very good reasons for blending fiction and FACS.
Reading has always been an integral part of all areas of the school curriculum. Students are expected to read in every class they attend–textbook assignments, directions on tests and worksheets, classic novels in literature classes. In spite of the emphasis placed on students’ ability to read and retain what they have read, most reading assignments are met with resistance by students.
Encouraging students to become lifelong readers can play a vital role in their success both in school and outside of school. No other area of the curriculum has the real life connectivity of Family and Consumer Science and I’m confident that we can capitalize on that connection to help our students learn to enjoy reading.
In case you are questioning the worth of devoting valuable class time to fiction, consider some of the following benefits of reading fiction derived from research and personal classroom experience.
• Reading fiction expands the reader’s vocabulary.
• Students develop better writing skills by seeing how different authors express their thoughts.
• Students broaden their core of general knowledge through reading. They also acquire a deeper understanding and appreciation of FACS content when they see FACS concepts and skills incorporated into works of fiction.
• Fiction can expand students’ view of the world as they learn more about people and how they cope with challenging circumstances.
• Reading can show teens that everyone has problems in his or her life and may even help teens to see solutions to their own problems.
• Teens who read and follow the plot of works of fiction gain skills in handling complex ideas.
• Teens who spend more time reading generally score better on the verbal section of college admissions tests.
• Students today are coping with a great deal of stress in their lives. Reading fiction provides an escape from day-to-day life and can be a source of relaxation and stress relief.
• Reading fiction opens the reader’s mind to new possibilities. It stretches the imagination and stimulates creativity.
My Q & A with Joanne Fluke, author of Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder, begins on Monday. You won’t want to miss it! Have a great weekend!