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What is a Literary Experience?

What is a Literary Experience?

The foundational philosophy of Reading House activities is the use of "literary experiences." Literary experiences are instructional reading moments, games, routines, or lessons that occur within the context of everyday life. Sometimes these activities are planned and sometimes they aren't. The defining aspect of literary experiences, though, is that they happen naturally throughout the course of a learner's day.

A literary experience could be subtly joining a young child as she explores nature and pointing out the name of some of the flowers. It may be giving the grocery list to a preschooler and reading the items together as he checks off what's put in the cart. It may be a game you create for your child to play with friends that just happens to have some challenging vocabulary words. Or it could be a teacher intertwining a story extension exercise with a science lesson.

The truth of the matter is that reading and language events occur almost every moment of every day.It doesn't make sense to isolate language learning as a once-a-day activity. Listening and communicating with others; taking meaning from text and forming new ideas; writing about unique ideas in a clear and direct manner are all methods for children to grow into progressive thinkers. The most natural way to effectively teach these skills is to introduce them within a child's home and school environment as life is happening.

Thus, parents and educators will find that most activities on the Reading House website and within the Reading House eBook promote the experience and act of reading as opposed to just reading response activities. An enhancement to any reading program would be to make the literary experience the main method of bringing various forms of reading opportunities to learners throughout the day.

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