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Benefits of Big Books

Reading is the best hobby an individual can have. If you enjoy reading during you free time then I
am sure you are familiar with big books. They usually cover a variety of topics
– be it schoolwork, health and fitness, or information and
technology. Whatever the topic, they make a great read that will improve your quality of life once you
make reading a habit.

1. Its engaging
Unlike playing games on your computer, reading is engaging since it requires attention. In other
words, reading will force you to reason as you encounter new topics. Reading informative books on
a daily basis is a great way to keep abreast with the happenings around you, and more importantly
will make you smarter.

2. Improves vocabulary
Reading is also an excellent way to sharpen your vocabulary. In elementary schools, children are
required to decipher the meaning of a specific word by reading how it is used in a sentence. You get
similar benefits from reading books and magazines. By reading informative books that require deep
reasoning and concentration, you will become exposed to new words.

3. Enhances focus and concentration

Reading is interactive and requires a great deal of attention, especially when you come across
challenging topics. Unlike e-mails, internet posts or magazines that may contain small bits of
information, books are more engaging and will tell you more about a specific subject. Since you
need to concentrate to understand the context, like muscle building, your concentration span will

4. Builds confidence and self-esteem

Knowledge is power. Reading books is a great way to improve your knowledge and as we all know,
knowledge equates confidence. People who are well read are respected and are usually looked
upon for solutions.
If you want to become active and start a productive life, grab your favorite read and explore the
knowledge without limitations.

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Exploring the effectiveness of using big books in

teaching primary English in Malaysian classrooms

Yaacob, Aizan and Pinter, Annamaria (2008) Exploring the effectiveness of using big books in teaching primary English in
Malaysian classrooms. Malaysian Journal of Learning & Instruction, 5. pp. 1-20. ISSN 2180-2483

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There are many benefits of using stories for language and literacy development particularly in the areas of vocabulary(Cameron,
2001; Elley, 1989; Penno, Wilkinson & Moore 2002;Hargrave & Senechal, 2000) and reading comprehension. Yet, much is still
unknown in second language (L2) contexts. This paper investigates the use of Big Books in primary English in Malaysia where
English is taught as an official second language. It draws on transcript data from one teacher from one primary school to illustrate
how students’ active participation and interest in language learning emerged as the teacher introduced Big Books instead of the
textbook. Our data shows that practice with Big Books changes the interaction patterns and learning opportunities. Students were
actively involved and they contributed to the discussions and made spontaneous comments about the stories. Most
importantly,the teacher’s elicitation skill is essential in enhancing students’ learning. The Ministry of Education’s hopes to
provide more active engagement and to increase students’ interests and motivation through stories were achieved.
espite that, I love reading.

I would rather stay home and read then go most anywhere.

I wanted my kids to feel the same, so I have always made a point of reading to them. Of course, when
they were very young we read lots of picture books. Picture help them understand the words more and
they hold their attention.

But, when my oldest was 4 years old, I started reading my kids Big Books. What I mean by Big Books
are longer chapter books. This was a foreign concept to me as I was only read chapter books at school.

Well, I loved the idea of being able to share books I enjoy with my kids. Plus, we are homeschooling, so
guess what, we read chapter books aloud at home.

Really, even if you aren't homeschooling, I would like to encourage you to read chapter books aloud to
younger children.

No, they don't understand all of it.

No, they don't have the attention span to sit through as much as you may want to read (especially if you
enjoy reading).

So why would you want to go to the trouble of reading Big Books aloud? Benefits of
Reading Chapter Books to Young Children

1. Big Books introduce new VOCABULARY to little ones.

It always amazes me how much of a story kids will listen to when they don't know all the words. They still
understand what is going on too; just ask them! My girls frequently will ask what a specific word is while
reading, and even if they choose not to ask at the time, they have been introduced to it. They have now heard
the word and heard it used in proper context. Next time they hear it, it will not be completely foreign to them.

2. Big Books also increase exposure to new and different SITUATIONS.

The first big book we read was The Tale of Despereaux (guess I was a bit over zealous with a 3 and 4-year-
old). We encountered prison, neglectful, abusive parents, and parental death; as well as forgiveness. We
encountered a lot of complex situations that they have not dealt with in a safe home environment where we
could discuss anything that needs to be discussed.
3. Big Books help build RELATIONSHIPS.

If you are spending so much of your time with your child reading and discussing important aspects of the
book, you can't help but build the relationship you have with your child. All that discussion can help instill
values and good character traits in them too.

4. Big Books help improve your child's ATTENTION SPAN.

Maybe at first your child won't sit for a long period of time, but if you find a book that interests them they will
start. I know when we read Charlie and the Chocolate Factory we got through half the book in the first sitting
because the girls were that interested. The more you do it the longer they will pay attention. Not sure they are
paying attention? Ask them what is happening or to draw you a picture of what they remember.

5. Big Books help improve your child's IMAGINATION.

Unlike television, movies, or even picture books that show kids exactly what things look like, big books make
them imagine it. Few pictures and usually black and white pictures mean they have to see the picture in their
mind. .They have to imagine the scene the author is describing, the sounds, the smells, the colors.

Now you are thinking, I can see the benefits of reading Big Books to my kids, but how in the world will I find
the time.

I totally get it. You have school, work, housekeeping, and they want to eat every single day! There are two
major differences between standards-based teaching and traditional forms of teaching. In
standards-based education …
 Teachers identify key knowledge and skills first and use them to focus all instructional
and assessment activities.
 Teachers determine performance standards and share these with students before
instruction begins.
It is important to note that standards-based reforms have met with both success and controversy.
Many school districts across the United States report that standards-based efforts have resulted in
higher overall achievement test results. Another benefit is that community members are more
engaged in the affairs of the school.
There are also some negative views on standards-based education. Teachers have concerns
because of the sheer number of standards in place within a single content area or at a single grade
level. Some teachers feel as though they have to “teach for the test” so their students will have
higher test scores. There are also concerns about the lack of emphasis on problem-solving skills
and critical-thinking abilities. Some communities are concerned that their urban schools are not
being treated fairly and that the higher standards are causing higher failure rates.
Standards, whether those from professional organizations, your state, or your school district, are
another form of instructional resource for your classroom. They can guide you in developing
appropriate lessons and assist you in helping your students achieve academically. However, just
as with any other resource, they are teaching tools. Just as you would select one set of tools to
build a log cabin, so, too, would you select another set of tools to build a condominium. The
same is true of the teaching tools at your disposal.

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Why Use Big Books

The size of pictures and words in big books are exciting to children.

• Big books are a fun way to motivate children to want to read and to create an exciting way for
them to experience books.
• The size of pictures help children to focus attention and follow the story as they are learning to

You have probably noticed that children enjoy it when you use big books at storytime.

• Choice is an important way we develop motivation to want to read.

• Children enjoy the opportunity to choose a big book that you will use in storytime.

Children will relish the opportunity to get to choose a big book to look at up close.

• One simple way to help get children excited about reading is to make a selection of big books
available as a center activity or at the end of storytime.

• Children also enjoy having a chance to “read” big books on their own or with parents, and enjoy
having a chance to take them home, too.

Big Books are available at the public library

• For teachers to check out for use in your classroom

• For children to take home to share with families.