Using Literature in Content Area Classrooms
This chapter provides a rationale for, and discusses what the research says about, the benefits of literature-based teaching and learning, no matter what teacher's subject area. Integrating Literature in the Content Areas offers ways in which general education teachers—subject area teachers—can begin to understand the benefits of differentiated sets of curriculum materials Allington calls for. J. R. Fallin found that children's literature can reinforce music knowledge and skills, expand multicultural awareness, and enhance listening. In Multicultural American History Through Children's Literature, D. A. Ellermeyer and K. A. Chick concur that teaching content through stories in multiple genres encourages consideration of multiple perspectives. The researchers recommend that teachers stock a "Good Books Box" in middle school classrooms, become acquainted with popular contemporary authors, and allow students to read without interference, just as readers do outside the classroom. When students have a sense of belonging in the classroom, along with a caring teacher, they are more likely to be motivated to read.