With the Classics
. . . Approach a classic in as many
sensory ways as possible . . . .
A fresh taste of old Italy from
Pinocchio by Carlo Collodi
By Jenny Clendenen Walicek and Becky Clendenen Kimball
Thick, outdated, boring, difficult, and dry. How do we dispel this notion of the classics and get our kids
to read—and love—great books?
You know those stories are jam-packed
with just about everything your child
needs: historical facts, scientific ideas,
character models, vocabulary words,
writing skills, and more. But old-fashioned books can intimidate even enthusiastic readers, and you certainly don’t
want to discourage the reluctant ones.
Your goal, after all, is to encourage the
joy of reading. You know that when kids
read for fun, they learn for life.
What makes reading fun is the same
thing that makes anything fun: hands-
on experience. Experiential learning
has recently been lauded as an overdue
trend in math and science, but it’s just as
overdue and beneficial in language arts
too. Wouldn’t you love to watch your kids
have those “aha!” moments as they see,
touch, smell, taste, hear, and do things
they’ve read about? Great books can and
should be great experiences! And any-
one, by recreating the sensory aspects of
a story, can bring it to life here and now,
in a kid-friendly way.