Apr 11, 2009

Posted by in Featured, Teacher's Corner | 42 Comments

Raising a Bookworm

dsc001782One of my most favorite teaching tools are storybooks. I’m not talking about teaching my preschoolers only here, but I have used many a storybook in my undergraduate classes, much to the chagrin of my students. However, as I’d go through the stories, I’d catch them with the same dreamy and awed expressions my toddlers have when they listen to stories. At the end of the story, the once complex topic, such as neuroanatomy, becomes as simple as a kid’s story.

Why do I use storybooks?

Simply because they’re a fun way to learn. Imagine sitting through a lecture about brain functions and its role in human behavior. No matter how into the topic you are, you’d find yourself fidgeting in a few minutes, right? What more for a little child! Of all the things kids have to learn, reading and writing are perhaps the most challenging to teach. While some kids pick it up fairly easily, some encounter difficulties along the way. With storybooks, teachers and parents help make the learning more fun.

Other than making learning fun, here are some benefits I see in reading stories to children (and adults alike):

1. Storybooks foster cognitive development. In fact, this is strongly recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) because it helps stimulate brain and language development. Some have even suggested that reading to an infant, whether this be a storybook or the newspaper increase activity in the brain.

2. It teaches basic reading and writing skills. Although they may not be doing the reading on their own per se, storybooks show children that text is written from left to right, that letters make sounds that when put together make words that mean something. The pictures in these books make abstract ideas real and concrete to them.

3. Reading helps build vocabulary and gives the reader a bigger worldview. In essence, storybooks take us to places we cannot be or have not been in. Books allow us to explore cultures and ideas while in the comfort of our own homes. We also learn how words are used and what they mean. I remember in one of my toddlers classes, one of the kids would not stop talking about a platypus, an animal which is not well-known in the Philippines. But because of our story, she learned all about it.

4. Books teach children the fine art of loving reading. When I first started teaching, my mentor said it was not as important for me to teach phonetic learning over helping a child become really literate. She said what would the kids do with knowing how to read complicated words when these words meant nothing at all to them. For me, giving children storybooks makes them learn how to really read, and not just decode words. Albeit the phonetic approach to teaching reading is a basic, fundamental skill to be mastered, it seems to me that one of the most effective ways to teach a child to read is through reading to him or her regularly.

5. Reading to children help build bonds between the parent and child. Some experts would even suggest that reading out loud to children help soothe and relax them. It also gives them a feeling of safety and security, which can later translate to more healthy emotional growth.

6. Books are character building. Yes, we can talk till we are blue in the face why it is important to share or be honest, but these don’t mean much to kids until these are made real to them.

To make teaching kids how to read even easier, The Accidental Teacher is hosting it’s first online contest! By simply sharing the title of your favorite story and what lessons can be learned from it, you can win a Php 300.00 Fullybooked Gift Certificate!

Contest Mechanics/Guidelines:

1. Post your answer in the comment box on or before midnight of April 30, 2009.

2.The contest is open to Philippine residents only. All book lovers and readers  are welcome to send comments but are limited to one per person only.  Only the first comment shall be considered for contestants with multiple comment entries. Unique contestants shall be identified through their IP address.

2. A winner will be randomly selected and will be notified by May 1, 2009.  Eligible comments is equivalent to one raffle entry.

3. You may earn extra entries by any of the following:  write a blog post about this contest with a link back to this post (equivalent to 2 entries) or plurkabout this contest (1 entry) and post in the comments section the blog entry/plurk url.

4. The winner will be contacted through the email address supplied in the comment form. The winners address will then be requested in order to make arrangements for claiming the prize. The winner will be given 3 days to respond to notification or he/she will forfeit the prize and a new winner will be selected.

5. For questions and inquiries about this contest please send email yapatoots@gmail.com

If you found this post interesting, informative and educational, feel free to take home my notes by subscribing here.

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Be Sociable, Share!

check out my other blogs! yapatoots | Fat Girl No More | Daydream Believer | Teacher Ria | OnADietDaw

  1. Hi Ri.

    My favorite story book is Velveteen Rabbit, among others. It’s movie version will hopefully come out soon here in Pinas.

    Lesson from it? You only become real when you are loved. Or something like that. Hehe:)

    I believe that it teaches kids about loving their things, be it a toy or a bag or shoes, and taking care of it in the process.

  2. I posted my entry on my blog..thanks

  3. My Favorite Book is “Why we want you to be Rich” By Trump and Kiyosake. Because it teach us how to fish and to get out from poverty and poor decision making. Which leads to dark ages which are the poverty and crisis. It is the secret of true wealth on how to survive into competitive and tough world. Because if your the best on your field you can promote knowledge , skills, inspire and help a lot of people. Its also a reality lessons in life that we must to fight for everyday survival. Aside from the great book which is the Bible.
    Its also a big motivational factor for personal and business development. It saves dieing corporations and hungry family.

  4. Hello!

    I posted my entry here in my blog:


    I also posted a link back to your site..

    thank you

  5. Tes Gangcuangco says:


    Would just like to share my all time favorite book: Black Beauty

    It’s a classic and there are lots of lessons to be learned from it. This book made me cry and made me realize the realities of everyday living but despite all that, we need to look positive and have the heart to be sensitive of what others are feeling. Black Beauty showed us the bad side of society as well as its good side. He also showed us that hope is present and its up to you to take hold of your life

  6. Ma. Lelian Tano Samuya says:

    Cry of the Kalahari, about two National Geographic researchers in the deserts of Botswana… because even the cry of a hyena in the Kalahari is more beautiful than anything manmade.

  7. I think one should read what is hot off the shelves, in order for that person to relate, such as the Twilight books. You see, one could easily conversate, do an ice-breaker since they read the same title. Its like everyone owning an iphone and sharing the exciting tech experience it brings (if you know what I mean). Why would I read a rare book and keep ideas to myself or why should I bother to engage talk with my seatmate if my topic is of no interest. People should follow the masses, if “blank” is their President, go with the flow, if Honda is their car of choice – so be it and go with the flow. . Teachers can even use this popular fiction (Twilight) to students enforce them to read and to interest them (students) in social studies topics.

    • Teacher Ria says:

      Very good point, Don! Yes, I agree that being up-to-date with whats hot on the reading list is a good way to connect to others. I, myself, have used a lot of current bestsellers as examples or activities in class!

      thanks for your entry!

  8. My favorite book is The Little Prince. The story told through the eyes of a child made me realize that life can be lived simply and with less complications which could make us happier in the end.

  9. Girlie A. Camungay says:

    As an Occupational Therapist, teaching special children to read is very challenging. I always use colorful puppets made of recycled materials to facilitate a child’s attention and increase motivation in reading. The story book that was appealing to children is The Ant and The Grasshopper. Children relates well to the story because the characters symbolize the “good” and “bad” aspect which makes comprehension easier for a child. It imparts the importance of hard work and saving.

  10. Robert John Reyes says:

    My favorite book is the Little Prince. This was the first book I read when I was a kid. It teaches me how to become responsible. I also learned to appreciate things dear to me.

  11. One of my favorite stories is Choke by Chuck Palanhuik. Its realist view on how hard life can be and how money causes some people to do something beyond even if it means dying.. I’ve learn so much on that book..

    If you haven’t read that book yet, its worth recommending that book! :D

  12. here is my post in my blog:


    and my plurk:


  13. Love Joy Cobilla says:

    My favorite book is “The Missing Piece” by Shel Silverstein. It focuses on how someone tries to find a missing piece of his/her life yet at the end it only goes to show that no matter how far you go or how many people you meet you will never find your missing piece. Because everyone is a whole individual. We dont need someone or something to complete ourselves, instead we need to realize that we are a special person on our own and we are whole. We can find true happiness when we realize our true value. Hence we can share it to others as well..

  14. Well, my current favorite book (or books) is the Maximum Ride series by James Patterson. What’s great about it is that, as the author says, it’s for people with ages from 10 to 110. Don’t be fooled though, despite its fast paced and young adult-oriented storyline, it tackles very important social and environmental issues of today. Give it a try if you have the time. :)

  15. hi…my favorite book is Chicken soup for the soul…i’m sure you’re familiar with it. It is a very inspiring book. It helped a lot in many of my life’s crisis. Anyway i blogged about it……hope you find the time to check it out at


  16. My favorite story is the The Hare and the Tortoise…

    The moral of the story is that slow and steady wins the race.

  17. One of my favorite stories has got to be JK Rowling’s Harry Potter series. Given, it may be a children’s story, and quite not up to par with several hundreds of other stories, but among all other things, it taught me how to enjoy a good book as a child. I started reading it when I was nine, and I can honestly say that I shared almost a decade with Harry. I learned that it was okay to dream; that in the end, it is our choices that define us; that we learn to choose our friends; and that, when the time calls for it, we’ve got to step up and be brave. This story taught me that life is a collection of good things and bad things, and that there’s strength brewing in each one of us; it’s only a matter of having confidence in yourself and knowing that there are people around you who’ll be there to support you ’til the end.

  18. Naty Ang says:

    The boy who cried wolf… I read this in a Chinese book but I am sure there is an English translation of this story. :) It’s nice, informative, and teaches a very valuable lesson.

  19. My favorite book is the Untold story of Imelda Marcos By Carmen Navarro..I really love reading it over and over again…Imelda is fantastic..She is a modern Cinderella…Lesson: Don’t be discourage life has a purpose. Everything is possible if u’l work for it.

  20. I really like this book: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time.

    Its a combination of crime story-finding the killer., his adventure to find her mother, and how he view the world.

  21. (I’m not sure what happened, but my comment seems to have been erased. D:)

    One of my most favorite stories would have to be JK Rowling’s Harry Potter series. Given, it may not be up to par with several hundreds of other stories, but among all other things, Harry Potter taught me how to enjoy a good read as a kid. Harry was a big part of my childhood; I remember reading the first book as a nine year old kid, and growing up with Harry for the next ten years that the story continued. Through his tale, I learned that it was okay to dream; that our choices define us; that we will never be truly alone; that, when the times call for it, we’ve got to step up and be brave. I learned that everyone’s got strength in them; it’s only a matter of realizing our own capabilities, and believing in ourselves.

    • Teacher Ria says:

      Hi Carla!

      Thanks for joining! Don’t worry, it wasn’t deleted, I just was out of town and did not have internet access, thus it took a while for me to moderate comments :-)

      Good luck!!!

      Teacher Ria

  22. I learned a lot from Meg Cabot’s How To Be Popular. The title of the book is already captivating and the book will teach you — what else? — how to be popular. But as you reach the end cover, you’ll realize that there are far more important things than just being popular — friends, family and happiness.

  23. I’m a wide reader. That’s how I learned, basically. One of those I loved is entitled “Where Do I Place The Decimal Point” or something to that effect. It teaches how not to be afraid of math. It teaches how to solve math problems the logical and picturesque way so you can solve also mentally. The concept is a treasure we teach the principles to our kids.

    Another book that develops the logical thinking is the collection of stories of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle. That’s really my favorite in terms of learning how to deduce. It develops the brain, surely and my daughter has just finished the 2-inch thick hardbound collection. :)

  24. my favorite story is from the manga turned to anime series entitled honey and clover. I really love it so much cause it taught me about love and life. The lead guy learned to be patient while he is secretly loving the girl he adores for 5 years. He had given her unconditional love though he knows the girl loves someone else. and in the end, he thought me about acceptance. though the girl only cherishes him as a friend and they did not end to each other, he was happy that he loved that girl. It woke me up from my daily rants about being in love. But above all, my favorite lesson I gained from the lead guy was when he had his self realization journey. He went to Tokyo up to the northernmost part of Japan through biking only. There he showed me the value of finding and following your hearts desire. Though he did not find something, whats important is whats in your heart. That’s really one of my favorite stories I known cause it inspired me not just academically but also mentally. I think I became more mature after it.

  25. A children’s book I currently love right now: BOB THE BUILDER.

    Although based in a tv series, it imparts good values on dealing conflict resolution, co-operation, socialization and various learning skills.

    Bob will always shout, “Can we fix it?” and the rest will say, “Yes, we can.”

    Miguel loves it. :)

  26. of all the books that i’ve read, i love Shell Silverstein’s The Missing Piece Meets the Big O the most. I saw myself in the Missing Piece, trying to be something else and looking for something or somebody to complete me. It made me realize 3 things: that I can use my limitations to my advantage; that it’s not so bad to try and do things that I once thought improbable; and that I can do these on my own. :)

    **Ria, just in case you’ll extend your contest deadline. hihihi.


  1. Mushings » Blog Archive » Love You Forever - [...] love to read books and I hope my kids will inherit my love for reading. I’m glad that Ria …
  2. Reawakening the Bookworm | TheAccidentalTeacher - [...] the world happened and work got in the way then things I have to now read are no longer …

Leave a Reply

Switch to our mobile site