Posts Tagged ‘B. J. Novak’

I received notifications from a couple of friends about B. J. Novak’s Book With No Pictures – a video which has gone viral since it was posted just a couple of weeks ago.   The most common question asked of me was whether Novak is a relation of mine.   Alas ….. no …..

If you haven’t seen the video yet, take a few minutes – it’s magical!

The reaction that Novak elicits from his young audience is fabulous – no?!

This demo though highlights one of the most important aspects of engaging children of virtually any age with books and, in my humble opinion, contrary to the hype that this video creates, the content of the book has very little to do with the children’s perceived engagement and joy!

When we read to our students, essential skills need to be employed by the reader!

  • Eye contact: Looking at the audience is a way of involving them in the story and as we all know, little children especially, just love to be involved!
  • Voice: Raising and lowering the pitch and intonation, the modulation of words that are shared, are essential to engage students when reading.
  • Making connections: By pointing to the words as they are read, the reader is helping students make the all important (and valuable) connection between the printed word and the spoken word.
  • Facial expression:  The more animated the reader the greater the joy of those listening to stay ‘tuned in’ to what is being read.
  • Exaggerated expression: By casting off inhibitions and having fun with crazy sounding words like BLORK and BLUURF students are bound to become entranced.
  • Talking about what’s being read: Breaking off from reading the text and just talking to the students about what was just read is a great technique to engage and connect with the students and to engage and connect them in a meaningful, individual way with the story.
  • Sharing the ridiculous: Silly statements like ‘..my head is made of blueberry pizza’ makes students question the logic of the text being read and gives the chance to compare what is being read to the reality of their own life experience as being possible, all of which engages and excites interest.

This book is a great way to educate both parents and teachers on not just how to read a book and engage readers, but to share that wBookWithNoPicturesonderful joy and excitement that can be evoked from mere print on a page.

Check out B. J. Novak’s webpage for more details about The Book With No Pictures  or if you are really keen, have a listen to this riveting keynote address to the American Library Association.

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