Will nonfiction edge out fiction for classroom storytime?

“Once upon a time,” the teacher begins reading to a group of eager 2nd grade listeners, “there was no little girl in a red hood, no young wizard starting a new school, but there was a scientist named Charles Darwin who had a big, new idea.

OK, that’s a totally made-up scene. I was just imagining what storytime might be like in elementary schools if the controversy over pushing nonfiction reading over fiction plays out as some educators believe it should. This article in yesterday’s Chicago Tribune explores the trends and test result statistics on this issue.

Today Tribune columnist Mary Schmich weighed in on the debate with her commentary. She expresses her deep concern that reading fiction will become perceived as a waste of time for serious students. As an avid reader of both both genres, I agree with Ms. Schmich wholeheartedly.

Whether all ends happily every after will depend on how educational experts design curricula of the 21st century.

Barbara L.

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