Spreading the Wings of Asian Literature

By Vear, Lois | Practical Literacy, June 2013 | Go to article overview

Spreading the Wings of Asian Literature


Vear, Lois, Practical Literacy


I was very excited to discover and incorporate into my planning the beautiful and thought provoking picture book, Red Butterfly (Noyes, 2007). I was pleased to find this book because Asia is one of the three cross curriculum priorities of the Australian Curriculum. It has not been easy finding a variety of appropriate and relevant literature to satisfy this requirement of the new structure, though. In addition to the cross curriculum priorities, the Australian Curriculum is structured into the three strands of Language, Literature and Literacy (ACARA, 2012). While the curriculum has been compartmentalised, the intention is for each of the strands (Language, Literacy and Literature) to be integrated in the literacy classroom and not taught as discrete 'curriculum modules' (The Department of Education and Child Development, 2009).

I have integrated the three strands as a guiding framework to structure a Year 1 lesson around Red Butterfly which is a story based in China and tells the tale of a princess smuggling the secret of silk out of China. The author is Deborah Noyes and the illustrator is Sophie Blackall. This intriguing picture story book contains appealing, colourful pictures which enhance the story and clarify the poetic language. The language is non-rhyming poetry and the rhythm reminds me of poetry by Wordsworth. The beautiful language in the poem is used to create a flowing story with an uneven rhythm that requires the reader to pause and thus reflect about the message. This book is ideal to introduce Asian history and culture into the classroom and contains both a simple story and also scope for a deeper analysis, making it ideally suited for a wide range of year levels from the Early Years to the Middle Years.

I have created the following lessons as a suggestion for how this book could be used at the Year 1 level, reflecting the interrelated nature of the three strands. The lesson is initially contextualised in the enjoyment of literature and is further based within the framework of the Four Resources Model: text user, text participant, text analyst and code breaker (Luke & Freebody, 1999). Developing the code-breaker role is more than just teaching letter/ sound relationships, it is also developed by reading books which play with words through alliteration and onomatopoeia. This is evident in the story, Red Butterfly.

Commencing with a reading of Red Butterfly, the initial focus is on enjoyment and meaning, developing the role of 'text participants' (Freebody & Luke ref). The front cover is discussed and the names of the author, illustrator and title are pointed out. The children are then encouraged to make predictions about the story. The children's thinking is focused by identifying their prior knowledge of China and locating China on a world map. Their attention is directed to the word 'China,' printed on a laminated card and displayed on the wall. Other important vocabulary from the text is also be printed on cards and taught prior to reading.

The importance of developing vocabulary to aid reading fluency and comprehension has been firmly established in a meta-analysis by Stahl and Fairbanks (2006). Vocabulary learning can be maximised by reading books multiple times, discussing the text, drawing in children's responses and through reading in small groups (Blachowicz & Fisher, 2011). New vocabulary words of the week can be displayed on a world wall. Children with poorer vocabularies are less likely to learn new vocabulary incidentally and need the explicit, scaffolded instruction by a teacher (Blachowicz & Fisher, 2011). Extending vocabulary is one aspect of fostering language development. Goswami and Bryant (2007) explain that language development is critical to cognitive development.

Following a discussion of vocabulary, I would read the story and shortly, the children could join in with the repetitive line: 'In my father's kingdom there are many splendours'. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Spreading the Wings of Asian Literature
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.