Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Krashen: "I read it because it's beautiful"

This was published in IRA Inspire, sent out on the internet from the International Reading Association. It is very ironic that an IRA publication defends literature in this way, when the IRA has enthusiastically supported the standards movement and the LEARN act, which promise to wipe out this kind of literature teaching in favor of the approach that the "observer" in this classroom represents.

I Read It Because It’s Beautiful

by Karen Morrow Durica

Somehow a life without poetry seems…




Not much.

So each day in my classroom I read…



Free verse—

And such.

An observer sat in my room one day…

Noted poem’s title

Evaluated delivery

Recorded “lesson” sequence—

Said dryly: “It seems

There’s no connection curricular-wise…

No anticipatory set

No vocabulary drill

No comprehension query—

Do they know what it means?”

I could have contrived a defense or two, but…

Spirits flowed with peaceful joy

Honesty prevailed

Simple truth explained—

“I read it because it’s beautiful,” I said.

She didn’t quite frown but recalled all the same, “We’ve…

Standards to meet

Timelines to keep

Pages to cover—

Important content to be read.”

I looked from her to my students’ gaze; they…

Had relished the words

Danced with the rhythm

Mused with the meaning—

Were richer in spirit than when we began.

I read it because it was beautiful. And beauty is…

Never superfluous

Never irrelevant

Always needed—

Always in my “lesson” plan.


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