From the very beginning of school we make books and reading a constant source of possible failure and public humiliation.When children are little,we make them read aloud before the teacher and other children,so that we can be sure they"know"all the words they are reading.This means that when they don't know a word,they are going to make a mistake,right in front of everyone.After having taught fifth-grade classes for four years,I decided to try at all costs to rid them of their fear and dislike of books,and to get them to read oftener and more adventurously.
One day soon after school had started,I said to them,"Now I'm going to say something about reading that you have probably never heard a teacher say before.I would like you to read a lot of books this year,but I want you to read them only for pleasure.I am not going to ask you questions to find out whether you understand the books or not.If you understand enough of a book to enjoy it and want to go on reading it,that's enough for me.Also I’m not going to ask you what words mean."
The children sat stunned and silent.Was this a teacher talking?One girl,who had just come to us from a school where she had had a very hard time,looked at me steadily for a long time after I had finished.Then,still looking at me,she said slowly and seriously,"Mr.Holt,do you really mean that?"I said just as seriously,"I mean every word of it."
During the spring she really astonished me.One day,she was reading at her desk.From a glimpse of the illustrations,I thought I knew what the book was.I said to myself,"It can't be,"and went to take a closer look.Sure enough,she was reading Moby Dick,in edition with woodcuts.I said,"Don't you find parts of it rather heavy going?"She answered,“Oh,sure,but I just skip over those parts and go on to the next good part."
This is exactly what reading should be and in school so seldom is an exciting,joyous adventure.Find something,dive into it,take the good parts,skip the bad parts,get what you can out of it,go on to something else.How different is our mean-spirited,picky insistence that every child get every last little scrap of"understanding"that can be dug out of a book.
1.According to the passage,children's fear and dislike of books may result from
A.reading little and thinking little
B.reading often and adventurously
C.being made to read too much
D.being made to read aloud before others
2.This teacher in the passage told his students to read
C.for a larger vocabulary
D.for higher scores in exams
3.Upon hearing the teacher's talk,the children probably felt that
A.it sounded stupid
B.it was not surprising at all
C.it sounded too good to be true
D.it was no different from other teachers'talk
4.Which of the following statements about the girl is TRUE according to the passage?
A.She skipped over those easy parts while reading.
B.She had a hard time finishing the required reading tasks.
C.She learned to appreciate some parts of the difficult books.
D.She turned out to be a bad student after coming to this school.
5.From this teacher's point of view,
A.children cannot tell good parts from bad parts while reading
B.children should be left to decide what to read and how to read
C.reading is never a pleasant and inspiring experience in school
D.reading involves understanding every little piece of information