Tell Me: Children, Reading, and Talk

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9781571100306: Tell Me: Children, Reading, and Talk

“There is a correlation between the richness of the reading environment in which readers live and the richness of their talk about what they've read.”
“In any group of children we find that if they begin by sharing their most obvious observations they soon accumulate a body of understanding that reveals the heart of a text and its meaning(s) for them all.”

Talking about a book helps a child find the heart of a story, make sense of a string of facts, and understand complicated ideas. Aidan Chambers proposes an approach for discussing books so children learn to talk well about what they've read. Indeed, not only talk well, but listen well. And not just about books, but about other things. For the “Tell me” approach ultimately helps children learn to clarify ideas for themselves and to communicate with others. It is, in short, a basic step in applying knowledge and articulating meaning.

Tell Me offers practical information about book talking in the classroom, explaining some of the processes and outlining the ground rules developed by teachers and others who work with children and books. From their experience he has formulated a Framework, “a repertoire of questions that assist readers in speaking out their reading.”

Tell Me is companion to The Reading Environment.

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About the Author:

Aidan Chambers' best known books are the children's novel, The Present Takers and his young adult fiction that includes BreaktimeDance on My Grave, and The Toll Bridge. He lectures on children's literature for teachers and for several years wrote the "Letter from England" column for The Horn Book.

With his wife Nancy he founded The Thimble Press in 1969, which has published professional books in education as well as the critical journal,  Signal: Approaches to Children's Books.

A recipient of numerous awards, in 1986 he gave the May Hill Arbuthnot Lecture, sponsored by the Association for Library Service to Children. Aidan and Nancy Chambers live in the Cotswold region of England.


'Storytellers and teachers who work with storytelling in a classroom setting will find this book a very useful addition to their repertoire of teaching resources.' --The Story Bag, A National Storytelling Newsletter December 1998/January 1999

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