By Paola Quesada Fonseca – Education Degree student
When I was a child, I had a passion for reading, and I did it on my own since reading was never mandatory at school. However, as I grew older, the educational system forced me to view books as my worst enemy; from subjects that were not of my interest to very complex content for my age. Now that I can choose my books, I have reflected on the faults or shortcomings that Costa Rican educational institutions in charge of promoting literature have had. Among the reasons for school failure towards reading may be due to the breach to meet the demands of the 21st century, including critical thinking, creativity, collaboration, and communication. For this reason, I share the techniques of the Kamishibai, story corner, and set of scenarios to successfully incorporate literature into study programs.
Each of the mentioned techniques addresses the four necessary skills that students must handle for their future.
Critical thinking occurs when students can make choices, with the help of their teacher, about the texts that suit them and may be of interest to them; creativity when designing entertainment spaces; and collaboration and communication by socializing and working together on the content of the books (Stauffer, 2020, para. 2). Now let's see how this is accomplished, first with the Kamishibai. This is a Japanese storytelling tradition known as paper theater, which, unlike a picture book, is a group activity and shared experience (D Enjelvin, 2018, para. 5). The story corner is a space designed to encourage reading, public speaking, and public presentation. While the setting of scenarios is about bringing elements of the story to real-life to enter into context with group presentations.
The implementation of these techniques can cause uncertainty in some teachers, especially due to the economic issue, although there is nothing to worry about because they can be low cost. For example, the Kamishibai is usually bought and originally made with wood for the mini-theater. However, it can be built with cardboard and made the sheets using our creativity, or, if you prefer, you can download virtual options and print them.
For story corner, there are different ways. If we made a play, the students must use costumes and decorations found in their homes. If we use puppets, they are accessible in some stores, or we can create them with socks for young children. The setting of scenes can also be done with household materials, even to decorate with old colored curtains. The important thing is to get the readers' attention and make their favorite stories come to life (Daley, 2019, para. 3).
Obtaining the books for all cases can be done through donations from parents and the community. These two agents are a fundamental part of the incorporation of literature, along with teachers, because it depends on everyone that new readers always have content to stay entertained and informed. If the diversified reading comes accompanied by the strategies developed, we could observe a change in student motivation.
I wish everyone could enjoy reading because it is a world full of possibilities that no one should miss. If we use traditional methods, this practice will be frustrating, but when we innovate our methods and design these exciting programs we will be welcoming a new generation of Costa Rican readers.