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Britannica Article on “Dinosaurs” by John H. Ostrom and Kevin Padian
It’s important to teach children how to access and use different types of informational text because the future isn’t about memorizing information but about knowing how to access it. It is unrealistic to expect people to be experts on things they are either not interested in or do not deal with every day. However, if schools start prioritizing teaching children how to find reliable sources and how to find the answers to their questions through all of the resources at their disposal, they’ll produce better students and workers in any field. It makes more sense to teach them to find the information they need in a document than to expect them to memorize it for a test.
Parents should absolutely be helping in this area with real-life activities. Children spend a lot of time with their children (they’re supposed to at least). Little How-To books and kits are generally inexpensive and easy to do. It makes for good bonding time as well as a good educational experience. I took an expository reading and writing class that taught me how to read informational text in high school and a teacher touched on it in middle school. Both helped me in college where I have to read through journal and encyclopedia articles, and other informational texts to do classwork. This type of learning can be done at almost any level and benefits the students. For example, instead of teaching students about dinosaurs, the teacher could give the KWL worksheet to their students and have them fill it out and learn on their own. Then, the teacher can explain which sources are better and give their own lecture. It also helps kids answer questions before they learn and narrow down the ones they did not have answered.
Ostrom, J. H., & Padian, K. (2021, April 19). Dinosaur. Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved August 10, 2022, from https://www.britannica.com/animal/dinosaur
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