Saturday, March 29, 2014

Living Books Forum: A Book Ignited a Fire...A Learning Fire!

Do you have a childhood favorite read, one that impacted you so greatly you remember every page? 
Maybe a picture book, a chapter book?

After reading your favorite book, did you reach for others by the same author? The same topic or genre?

Not long ago one of the learners in my home read a book that started a literary fire, a fire that burned brightly for months, actually almost a year if you count all the extended studies ignited off to the side.

The book that started the fire? 

The Story of Florence Nightingale by Margaret Leighton

I remember the evening she finished the book. She closed the book, clutched it to her chest, and remarked, "That was a good book! I feel like I know Florence Nightingale. I know the trials she faced as she treated people. I know about her courage to do something other people thought she shouldn't do. That was a good book!"

"Do we have any other nurse books?"

Wow! The power of a story!

We walked to the bookshelf and pull a few others. One after another, they were read, each time adding another layer of learning. When she read the all books we owned, we looked for more. 

Eventually her study broadened to women who changed medical science. That leg of the learning journey became a biographical science project (really mini research projects grouped into one) which spark studies in human anatomy and physiology, later branched to health and nutrition. Each learning segment was sparked by the one before, but ignited by one book.

                                         The Story of Florence Nightingale by Margaret Leighton

Keeping great books--books that are alive and carry the reader into the story-- in my home is one of my greatest pursuits. Finding books which capture attention and ignite learning, all the while building reading confidence and fluency. Finding books is now part of my yearly planning as I consider curricula for the coming year. Sometimes I comment, "I used to spend hours thumbing through catalogs, now I reference book lists and search garage sales, used bookstores, and Ebay". When we find literary treasures, eyes light up. Learning fires are started!

                                              Are there books in your home that ignite learning? 
                                     Do you want to learn more about how you can spark interest? 

           Join us at Living Books Forum, April 5, just one week away. 

Workshop descriptions here.

Register here. 

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