Day 155 (of 185) what good readers do: reread
One of the tricky parts of being a librarian is introducing the concept of “re-reading”. It’s easy to see it like watching a repeat on TV…..sometimes it’s just a re-viewing (like my wife and daughters watching Gilmore Girls for the ?th time) and sometimes you can “get it” even more….or different (like movies such as Memento or Inception) – sometimes just for fun….sometimes to see it differently.
Differences happen in reading & viewing because our schema (background knowledge) is ever-changing. The more you know, the more that helps you when reading, watching, hearing stories…even ones you think you know well!
Today I got to model this by re-reading a Robert Munsch Classic: We Share Everything – but, inspired by Robert Munsch, I cheated. We re-read the story but changed a few things (as he does on stage) – instead of taking place in kindergarten, it was in the library. We were preparing to do some cardboard construction and a review of sharing was needed because I didn’t have enough scissors and glue (by design) for everyone to have their own. So the students knew when and where they could add their own sound effects while still getting some important pre-working information about how we were going to work in the library today.
But it also lead to a fun discussion about why good readers re-read text. It can be:
- enjoyable (I love re-reading the Belgariad & Douglas Adams & many others)
- helpful (I still re-read my Carol Dweck, Dan Pink, Ken O’Connor among others)
- relaxing (I know what’s going to happen in 1984, but I still love how George Orwell put his words to the page)
- helpful to better understand what is happening/being written about – sometimes even “shorter” books can lead to some re-reading because of the thinking it makes you do (as I did with Long Zhao’s Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Dragon)
- helpful to increase fluency. How do good readers read fast? practice. And it’s easier to practice with familiar text than new (my second reading of the Gunslinger series was much faster than my first….yet I read a lot of content that I had forgotten…)
- a way to model, after all – learners do what they see….and if they see adults reading, they will see value in reading….when they see adults re-reading a text, they will ask “why” – because sometimes reading is disposable (one and done)
and not every reading is fun…..which is why even as a librarian I say that it’s sometimes okay to stop (but not all the time) and that it’s okay to re-read a favourite book….after all, I still love reading Where the Wild Things Are….and Dr Seuss….and Van Allsburg….and EB White….and……….