Reading fiction is an integral part of Calvary’s curriculum. Whether it is a favorite Biscuit book for our youngest Cavaliers or a popular young adult literature title such as Divergent enjoyed by our upper school students, fiction is important, vital, and widely read on campus. Many recent studies have evaluated the effects of reading fiction and consistently agree that reading fiction positively impacts brain function. Emory University conducted extensive research on the topic and found that reading fiction improves cognitive functions such as empathy, visualization, focus, and imagination. Fiction provides a window through which the reader can view the world as well as a mirror to view himself. We want our students to grow to be empathetic, caring, and creative, as well as focused and productive. Reading fiction assists in the development of these very important brain skills.
Calvary provides many avenues for reading fiction to impart these valuable skills. 3rd-5th grade students participate in genre studies each nine weeks. They are exposed to several fiction genres throughout the year, including fantasy/science fiction, adventure, mystery, historical, realistic, and Christian fiction. Students learn about the genre, select a book to read, and then produce a unique and creative project that goes along with the genre. Students in 2nd-12th grade participate in numerous novel studies throughout the year, ranging from classic favorites such as Charlotte’s Web to modern classics such as Life of Pi. Also, all students participate in the Accelerated Reader program, in which 95% of the tests taken are for fiction titles. Last, but not least, our Pre-K students enjoy constant reading instruction and practice that will help them as their reading skills emerge and develop. It is a joy seeing them develop into independent readers! The total school literacy program is built upon the importance of individual choice, solid book studies, and a desire to develop the love of reading as a lifelong skill with fiction being a major component for success.
What are you reading this Christmas season?
Bergland, C. (2014). “Reading Fiction Improves Brain Connectivity and Function.” Psychology Today.