The JGC/United Publishing Philosophy: Just because we found the world a certain way doesn't mean we have to leave it that way. Our goal is to help readers see beyond what is to what can be by opening minds and hearts with the power of imaginative literature. — John Gile, Editor & Publisher

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Using Imaginative Literature To Motivate And Empower Students
In Reading, Writing, Listening, Thinking, And Speaking Skills

Presented By Author John Gile

Academic Level:
Elementary and secondary school teachers and administrators
Reading specialists
ESL and Special Needs Teachers

Time and Location:
Modular design adapted to sponsors’ circumstances, needs, and goals as a one hour, post school day in-service
or as a staff and faculty half-day, full-day, or multiple day retreat.

Workshop Instructor:
John Gile is a Magna Cum Laude graduate of Northern Illinois University and an award-winning author of books that have made and topped bestseller lists. His high-impact programs to develop and strengthen participants’ communication skills and foster creative thinking have won educators’ acclaim across the United Sates and abroad. In addition to working directly with more than 500,000 students and teachers in school districts throughout the United States and Europe, he is a frequent speaker at education conferences, including state, regional, and national conferences of Staff Development For Educators and the International Reading Association and was a World Conference of the International Reading Association featured speaker in New Zealand. His books are used extensively in schools across the United States and abroad in language arts, graphic arts, conflict resolution, and to address peace and environmental issues, valuations, cultural groups, change in status, teamwork, consideration for others, responsibility, neighborliness, self-confidence, and self-control.

The primary goals of “Using Imaginative Literature To Motivate And Empower Students In Reading, Writing, Listening, Thinking, And Speaking Skills” are:
--To help teachers make reading and writing exciting for students;
--To flesh out NCLB and state standards with real-world writing perspectives that motivate students;
--To share effective approaches garnered while working with thousands of teachers across America and abroad;
--To provide aids for fostering literacy skills at home;
--To provide teaching aids participants can use in their classrooms;
--To strengthen teachers’ writing skills;
--To renew and increase participants’ joy in teaching;
--To fortify teachers with aids for combating stress and avoiding burnout.

No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Goals and State Comprehensive Strategic Plan (CSP) and Learning Standards (LS) Addressed (Illinois example):
--“Foster increased literacy by providing support for effective instruction and broad approaches to impact all students;” (CSP)
--“Establish literacy as the top educational priority and assist schools in delivering high quality reading skills and literacy instruction beginning in early childhood and continuing through high school grades;” (CSP)
--“...Educate parents on how to be their child's first teachers to stimulate development in reading and writing;” (CSP)
--“...Focus on early language and literacy;” (CSP)
--“...Integrated teacher education and professional development programs themed around literacy;” (CSP)
--“Reading with understanding and fluency;” (LS)
--“Apply word analysis and vocabulary to comprehend selections;” (e.g., phonics word patterns) (LS)
--“Apply reading strategies to improve understanding and fluency;” (LS)
--“Comprehend a broad range of reading materials;” (LS)
--“Read and understand literature representative of various societies, eras, and ideas; (LS)
--“Understand how literary elements and techniques are used to convey meaning;” (LS)
--“Read and interpret a variety of literary works;” (LS)
--“Write to communicate for a variety of purposes;” (LS)
--“Use correct grammar, spelling, punctuation, capitalization, and structure;” (LS)
--“Compose well-organized and coherent writing for specific purposes and audiences;” (LS)
--“Communicate ideas in writing to accomplish a variety of purposes;” (LS)
--“Develop self-awareness and self-management skills to achieve school and life success.” (LS)
--“Identify and manage one's emotions and behavior;” (LS)
--“Recognize personal qualities and external supports;” (LS)
--“Use social-awareness and interpersonal skills to establish and maintain positive relationships;” (LS)

--“Recognize the feelings and perspectives of others;” (LS)
--“Use communication and social skills to interact effectively with others;” (LS)
--“Demonstrate an ability to prevent, manage, and resolve interpersonal conflicts in constructive ways;” (LS)
--“Demonstrate decision-making skills and responsible behaviors in personal, school, and community contexts;” (LS)
--“Consider ethical, safety, and societal factors in making decisions;” (LS)
--“Apply decision-making skills to deal responsibly with daily academic and social situations;” (LS)
--“Contribute to the well-being of one's school and community.” (LS)

Well written imaginative literature relevant to students' lives and captivating them with lyrical language can be a powerful aid for teachers striving to motivate students to read and write. Rhythm and rhyme in writing capitalize on phonological awareness and foster vocabulary development. Providing students with memorable models of effective phrasing in a meaningful context strengthens their writing skills. Using imaginative literature to develop writing skills simultaneously strengthens thinking skills by helping students see beyond what is to what could be.

--Perspectives from which I speak: personal and professional;
--What more than 500,000 students and several thousand teachers have taught me;
--Imaginative literature and the power to see beyond what is to what can be;
--The circumstances children face;
--Reading and writing as survival skills for the 21st Century;
--Everyday applications of reading and writing skills to problem solving, problem preventing, critical thinking creative thinking, coping, learning, and growing in compassion for others;
--NAEP scores and shared responsibility for results;
--The limitations of technology and the impact of the personal touch;
--”Talk time” and journal writing;
--Right brain, left brain, whole brain;
--Motivation with meaning and purpose;
--Consequences of functional illiteracy in the lives of children and their communities;
--Word poverty, idea poverty, economic poverty;
--”Learning disabled” versus “Inactive Learners;”
--The reading-writing connection and ways to foster vocabulary development;
--Reading, the gateway to writing;
--The reading-writing connection and the “effort-making faculty;”
--Using imaginative literature to motivate children to develop their reading power;
--Story sharing to foster and capitalize on phonological awareness;
--The role of “reading heroes;”
--Nothing succeeds like success;
--Using basic technology to help students take responsibility for their reading development;
--My definition of a teacher: “a facilitator of discovery and a creator of opportunities for experiencing success;”
--The efficacy of rewarding students for time spent reading;
--Literacy alone is not enough;
--My four “L’s” -- Literacy, Lifelong-Learning, and Love;
--Fables do not tell readers what to think, but invite readers to think;
--Story sharing: rhythm and rhyme in writing to foster character, compassion, and cooperation
--We cannot control how others act, but we can control how we react;
--Students’ responses;
--Using Pourquoi literature to jump-start writing activities;
--”I have three brothers I hardly like till I heard your story” -- classroom, home, and playground peacemaking
--Keys to making writing easier, faster, more powerful, and more fun;
--Renewing your energy to combat stress and avoid burnout.

Take home:
--Teaching aids and units, FAQ’s of students and teachers at, resource citations and link.

Click here for the author's background information

Click here to visit the author's website —

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Copyright 2010 by JGC/United Publishing, 815.968.6601. All rights reserved. Revised: January 21, 2010