ONCE children learn to identify with characters' emotions, they read with a keener interest in the evolution of behaviour and learn to make connections with real life situations -

Predictions about how the story will unfold and understand the nuances and twists in the tale - all significant ingredients for inference and critical analysis.

Curiosity leads to discovery, which is the other significant element in developing reading and comprehension skills.

Uncovering the layers of any genre of text becomes a Herculean task for children who have been exposed to higher-order thinking skills - who do not quite learn how to dig deep into the context, description, characters and action.

Much like caviar, reading is an acquired taste and until one learns to enjoy it, we don't really know whet we are missing. As children become accustomed to exploring books, they gradually develop a tendency towards inference - digging deeper for hidden meanings.

Through this skill, they begin to appreciate different perspectives, have an eye for dept and detail and analyze storylines and characters in innovative ways.

The skills acquired from fictional reading lend themselves to the building blocks of inquiry-based writing.

Children who read a lot ask themselves questions about their own writing., helping themselves organise and give shape to their thoughts.

Reading is a receptive skill while writing is expressive - reading therefore moulds perspective. Individuals at any age make meaning of information by linking it to personal experiences - if they read a book without processing or internalising the content, they will perhaps remain disconnected from its essence.

It is only when they identify with what they read that they are able to critically analyze and use it as a stepping stone for ideas in their own writing.

An in-depth involvement of thought and feeling poured into reading will necessarily reflect in the ways children 'own' their writing and are able to manipulate words, self-correct, consolidate and strengthen their compositions.

The honor and serving of the latest writing and thinking on Children and Reading, continues. The World Students Society thanks author Nrda Mulji.


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