Creating “Super Readers” with Storyworks

Jackie Rabinoff

Editor's note: You can tell that Jackie Rabinoff is a BIG Storyworks fan. Even though she's preaching to the choir, we just loooove her enthusiasm and passion! Word of mouth has always been our most successful growth strategy. So if you feel so inclined, please share Jackie's Super Reader connection with Storyworks with your teaching friends! (You can also send them this link to our 30 day free trial.)

With Storyworks as my secret weapon, it is no wonder my students consistently display success in Language Arts. If you and your class have ordered from any Scholastic Book Club, you may have received with your shipment an excerpt from “Every Child A Super Reader” by Pam Allyn and Dr. Ernest Morrell. As I was reading it, I couldn't help but make the connection to Storyworks. Let me prove it to you!

Principle 1: Super Readers learn to read by reading interactively.

Let’s see…. each issue of Storyworks provides an online component with videos, vocabulary slideshows, audio versions of the stories and poems, projectable worksheets…need I say more?

Principle 2: Super Readers have a strong foundation in oral language.

This is a no-brainer. Not only is there a read-aloud play featured in every issue, but there are many other opportunities for speaking, such as class discussions, expressing opinions, debating, and persuading.

Principle 3: Super readers understand that reading and writing are mutually beneficial language processes.

In every issue of Storyworks there are as many opportunities for writing as there are for reading. For example (deep inhale), writing prompts accompanying each story, extended-response critical-thinking questions, outlines for persuasive and opinion essays, exercises to teach good grammar, guides to writing interesting leads to hook the reader, Wild Word, Word Nerd and other writing contests! (exhale)

Principle 4: Super Readers read broadly and deeply for authentic purposes.

To quote the book:Super Readers are voracious. They are hungry to read and can read easily across many genres. They are absorbing great amounts of words, images and texts of all kinds," which is EXACTLY what Storyworks provides!

Principle 5: Super Readers have access to many kinds of text.

Nonfiction, fiction, play, poetry, debates, paired texts, infographics, photographs, visual texts...and a partridge in a pear tree!

Principle 6: Super Readers need to make choices about what they read.

Many times after reading an issue of Storyworks, my students may choose to further their knowledge of a subject they read about.

Principle 7: Super Readers need reading role models.

One of the things I like most about Storyworks is the presence of the editors. Through videos, the editors share their research and writing process, their inspiration and their craft. The author of the story is not invisible; there is a face to go with the name.

Principle 8: Super Readers thrive in a collaborative community of readers.

Don’t expect your class to be sitting silently when they’re engaged in an issue of Storyworks. For each story, it is suggested that students work in small groups to read the article and to complete other skill-building activities. In addition, many prompts for class discussions and "turn and talks" are provided. 

Principle 9: Super Readers develop the strengths and skills to read by spending time reading independently.

ALERT: DO NOT DISCARD ANY OLD ISSUES OF STORYWORKS!! Past issues and activities are ready made for independent work centers, “Do Nows,” DEAR Time reading, rainy-day indoor recess and for that one student who always finishes his seat work in a split second!

Principle 10: Super Readers are joyful readers.

This is an easy one. Just look at your students’ faces when a new issue of Storyworks arrives!

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