The adequacy of elementary teachers' preparation to work with literature and literature-based literacy programs has recently been called into question (Beach, 1992; Walmsley, 1992; Walmsley and Walp, 1990; Zarillo, 1989). When visiting elementary classrooms categorized as literature-based one may well recognize a number of teachers who are doing an excellent job. However, one is perhaps more likely to encounter whole classes reading the same novel followed by worksheets that address only literal level questions, literature units focused on inane themes such as "Stuffed Animals That Come Alive" (Zarillo, 1989, p. 26), or self-selected and self-paced reading followed by activities which are fun but that lack any learning focus, such as writing fan mail to the author and making crayon portraits of favorite characters.
Beach, J. D. (1993). Literacy Through Literature: The Role of Comparison. Reading Horizons, 33 (5). Retrieved from http://scholarworks.wmich.edu/reading_horizons/vol33/iss5/3