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2012 July Language Arts, v89.6

Non-Member Price: $12.50

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Language Arts
Volume 89, Number 6, July 2012
Issue Theme: Insights and Inquiries

Level(s): Elementary, Middle

ISBN/ISSN: 0360-9170

Description

Language Arts
Volume 89, Number 6, July 2012

Issue Theme: Insights and Inquiries


Calls for Manuscripts

Thoughts from the Editors: “Wow” Was Just about All We Could Say
Peggy Albers, Caitlin Dooley, Amy Seely Flint, Teri Holbrook, and Laura May

Exploring Literary Devices in Graphic Novels
Ashley K. Dallacqua
Abstract: This article explores the possibilities of graphic novels with young readers.  During the 2009–2010 school year, while working with four fifth-grade students, the author examined the question In what ways do readers engage while reading a graphic novel? The fifth graders took part in book discussions and one-on-one interviews after reading two pre-selected graphic novels.  Through data analysis, Dallacqua noticed a prominence of data focused around literary devices.  The devices are not only present, but recognizable to students with no prompting.  The author uses the voices of students to discuss the wide range of literary devices and their effect on students’ reading engagement with graphic novels.  She also discusses the possibilities that graphic novels offer in introducing literary devices and scaffolding student learning into traditional, print-based literature.  Ultimately, she concludes that graphic novels are a powerful medium that offers language arts teachers unlimited possibilities.

Understanding History through the Visual Images in Historical Fiction
Suzette Youngs
Abstract: In the last ten years, historical fiction picturebooks have won numerous children’s literature awards and have assumed a prominent role in the literacy landscape of elementary and middle school classrooms. Whether read in read-alouds, study groups, as a focus of genre study, or as a supplement to the social studies curriculum, historical fiction picturebooks are a ubiquitous feature of elementary classrooms. What is problematic is the central focus in elementary reading education on teaching the strategies and skills necessary for understanding written text. When this is the case, the visual images and design features of the text are often overlooked, and readers’ construction of meaning with textual features (printed words) is privileged. This article highlights how purposeful instruction in visual and design systems of meaning of historical fiction picturebooks moved readers beyond literal elements of the texts and images, encouraged readers to construct meanings from a variety of perspectives, and created spaces for critical reading and inquiry.

Writers Draw Visual Hooks
S. Rebecca Leigh
Abstract: Drawing and writing in response to picturebook read-alouds, elementary children construct varying “visual hooks” in their sketches as effective visual devices for extending ideas for writing: the bubble hook, the zoom hook, and the group hook. This article reports on a 12-week qualitative study in which children in second grade develop as writers in a classroom where art and language have equal importance. The author and classroom teacher, collaborators in a dissertation study on art and language as ways of knowing, continued their research by looking more closely at children’s drawings as part of the writing process. Analysis of students’ visual/verbal responses, audiotaped talk in group shares, and interview data suggest that children were able to create visual hooks as meaningful pathways for supporting writing and thinking about writing.

Research and Policy: Looking, Thinking, Talking, Reading, Writing, Playing . . . Images
Nancy Roser
Abstract: This column examines research studies that foster children to explore the relationship between text and images. The collaboration of an engaging picturebook and a good teacher unlocks rich discussion and interaction among the students. Through visual literacy, children are active participants while making meaning and strong connections. The cited studies will support these findings.

Professional Book Reviews: Supporting Students as Writers across Languages
Susi Long, Julia López-Robertson, and Heidi Mills
Books Reviewed: Words Were All We Had: Becoming Biliterate against the Odds by María de la Luz Reyes; Writing between Languages: How English Language Learners Make the Transition to Fluency by Danling Fu; Sit Down and Teach Up by Katie Wood Ray and Matt Glover
Abstract: Each book reviewed in this issue moves the field of literacy forward in important ways. De la Reyes's collection of narratives provides insights into the institutional and instructional barriers faced by many students of color and strategies they used to overcome them as they sought to develop biliterate identities in the monolingual cultures of schools. Fu's exciting book documents student writers across languages as teachers support their developing proficiency in home languages and English. And Ray and Glover's focused look at how to move writers forward within diverse contexts provides specific and powerful strategies for teachers to use moment-to-moment in support of students as writers.

Children’s Literature Reviews: 2011 Notable Poetry Books
Jonda C. McNair, Alan R. Bailey, Lesley Colabucci, and Deanna Day

Conversation Currents: Writing: A Mode of Thinking
Danling Fu and Jane Hansen
Abstract: Scholars Danling Fu and Jane Hansen discuss the writing process and the significance of writing across content areas. They examine the relationships between the push for standards, the writing process, reading text, and thinking. They also offer advice for making writing more manageable for emerging writers.

Index for Volume 89

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