“If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales.” ~ Albert Einstein
January 26th is National Fairy Tale Day. (Yep. There truly is such a day! I’m glad, because I think fairy tales are invaluable to your child’s learning and help your child excel in reading.)
Two years ago, I was teaching a middle school writing class. I wanted the students to write fractured fairy tales. Little did I know that I had more than a writing lesson cut out for me. I had to build background knowledge of fairy tales. Amazingly, they weren’t familiar with many fairy tales. This truly was disturbing to me. In fact, it bothered me so much that I decided to teach a fables and fairy tale class the following year. There are so many rich language and life lessons learned from fairy tales. I think fairy tales are too valuable to neglect.
Here are 5 ways fairy tales help your child excel in reading.
Relate Literature to Life
Often, the characters encounter situations similar to those we all encounter in life. We can learn from the characters how to come out ahead or how to be taught a lesson like the Fisherman’s Wife; she was too greedy. Therefore, she finally lost everything because she wasn’t thankful for what she had.
All fairy tales have a definite problem and solution. Your children excel in reading by learning a valuable comprehension strategy: Problem/Solution.
In addition, fairy tales come in a wide variety of versions, but they usually remain true to the original plot. It is fun for your child and helps your child excel in reading when you read the same fairy tale, but a in a different version and then compare and contrast the versions.
Increases Vocabulary Amazingly
When reading from The Book of Virtues by William J. Bennett, the vocabulary is scholarly. It is high school level which I like. Children are learning vocabulary in context, and we aren’t dumbing down words.
Teaches Virtues and how to deal with Emotions
I am impressed with this free character education curriculum complete with free printables. I used it to accompany The Book of Virtues By William J.Bennett, but I also used it with basic everyday fairy tales/fables such as the Little Red Hen.
Learn about the entire character education lessons.
Get a glimpse of the lessons by looking at the lessons for Self Discipline.
When I taught this, I only used a few pieces of the lesson such as The main character/virtue page. Then, we explored fairy tales that either displayed the virtue or not. Then, we applied the trait to our own lives listing ways we did it.
Not only does your child excel in reading when reading fairy tales with you, they learn right from wrong.
Fairy tales are definitely fiction that whet one’s imagination.
“With this imagination comes a cultural literacy; fairy tales often include different cultures and ways of doing things. They teach children about cultural differences in the world outside their own gifting them a curiosity to learn new things and experience new places.” (1)
So why not start today reading more fairy tales to and with your kids. They’ll excel in reading and learn valuable life lessons. 🙂
Let’s make a positive difference~ one word at a time. 🙂
Please share this article with others that you think would benefit from these tips. Also, please ask any questions that you may have about teaching children reading or writing. Leave your questions in the comments. I’ll answer.
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