You are a kindergarten teacher. You have a student who is very far behind his classmates. He does not seem
to know how to handle books. He holds it upside or backwards. He rips the pages when he turns them. He is
unable to look at the pictures and make up a story for them. He does not know the alphabet. When you read to
the group, he is disruptive. When you read to him individually he is unable to follow the story and appears not
to understand how the pictures and words go together. He rarely is able to discuss what the pictures are nor
what the story is about. He is very sociable, active, and artistic. You had a reading specialist test him. The
specialist reported that he has no intellectual disabilities but that he is simply illiterate and ignorant about books
and stories. He does enjoy shorter movies and YouTube videos but he does not understand longer movies and
cannot identify the “good guys’ and what they want. He can identify the “bad guys” but cannot explain why they
are bad. The reading specialist has also confided in you that his older siblings are not proficient readers and
they are far behind grade level. His oldest siblings, in high school now, have never caught up and are not going
to graduate on time.
You have decided to have a face-to-face meeting with the parents. You ask to visit their home so that you can
see what the reading situation is. There are no books, magazines, nor newspapers in the living room. You ask
to see your student’s room to get to know what he likes better in order to help him be successful in school. As
you walk through the house, you do not see any books. You ask his parent, “What kind of books do you enjoy
reading with your children?” Both parents seem to quiet down but say that they do not enjoy reading so they
have rarely bought nor borrowed books for leisure reading for themselves nor their kids.
You initially wonder if there is a history of reading disabilities, but as you know your student does not have any.
You ask the parents directly and they respond that they can read, they graduated high school and one
graduate from college, but reading is not a part of their lives except for social media.
After spending some time with them, you decide that you have only about twenty minutes to convince them
that they need to read with their children, especially the youngest, and in that same time, you have to
demonstrate how to read to the child as well as what to read. Since the parents are not readers, you’ve got to
communicate all this in your alloted 20 minutes.
In this scenario, you are demonstrating how to read and how to engage the parents and their kids.
You must choose four of the story books–the Dr. Seuss books, “Drama” and “Long Way Down”. Any four are
OK. And you must incorporate the concepts from the Hillman and Gurdon sources.
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