The following is an outline from Ronald Cramer's textbook, "Creative Power" Chapter 7
This chapter explores what literature does for writing, reading literature to children, modeling literature with children, and using literature in writing fiction.

Cramer Chapter 7 Outline
Literature Models Writing- Most of the miracles of childhood writing are the residue of literature- read aloud, read independently, read voraciously, read greedily, read lovingly. Literature is the catalyst that creates the miracles of childhood writing.
Literature Develops a Love for Reading-Literature need not be classic to whet the appetite or reading and writing. A love of reading often precedes awareness of literary quality.
Literature Extends Language- Literature is the cornucopia of treasures, and language is the medium through which much of our world knowledge is expressed. Multitudes of common words, names, characters, and concepts derive from literature: Holy Grail, burning bush, leprechauns, Little Red Riding Hood, trolls, Utopia, etc. Knowledge of these concepts, perceived through literature, opens the door to further knowledge. Unfamiliarity with the language of literature handicaps communication, whereas familiarity enhances children’s ability to function in a literate society.
Literature Enriches Cultural Knowledge- Successful reading requires knowledge that may not be present in the text we are reading. We comprehend best when we connect new information and ideas with what we already know. Shared cultural knowledge is dependent on acquisition of a substantial body of cultural referents. It is essential for people of all cultures and ethnic groups to know each other’s literature, for our literature helps connect us to one another.
Literature Depicts the Human Condition- Literature depicts the human condition in all of its lovely and ugly dimensions. The images that readers project onto the screens of their minds are superior to most films created for us. Literature explores life’s great themes: love, death, friendship, family, hardship, courage, coping, evil, cruelty, compassion. Children identify with the feelings, thoughts, and events described in literature, which match their own interests and concerns.
Literature Develops a Sense of Story- Stories define us in more ways than we might expect. They tell of our fears and frivolities, values and traditions, prejudices and ideals. Stories constitute an important part of the collective memory of a culture. In a literature culture such as ours literature is the most important repository of the tales our children need. Listening to and reading stories develop a cognitive map for how a story goes.
It is well established that reading to children supports leering to read. It is less well recognized that reading aloud also supports writing, since it supplies models for writing and enriches the store of language available for writing. It was found that children who were read many linguistically complex books developed greater linguistic capabilities than children who were not read to.
Receptivity to Reading Aloud- 4 suggestions for enhancing the receptivity of children to the reading aloud experience
· Make reading aloud time for enjoyment and relaxation.
· Schedule time for reading aloud.
· Jointly establish a few simple rules. Only a few rule are needed and they are intended to create a relaxed and pleasant atmosphere.
· When children misbehave, it is reasonable to discipline them, but reading aloud should seldom, if ever, be withdrawn.
What to Read
· Age and interest levels are pertinent guidelines in selecting literature to read aloud.
· Read traditional and modern literature.
· Read fiction and nonfiction.
· Read prose and poetry
· Read books that represents the cultural and ethnic heritage of America.
· Select some challenging readings.
· Read books with which readers can identify
· Study bibliographies available on children’s literature, and choose those books that seem best suited to fulfill the needs of your children.

A model is a standard of excellence to be imitated. Modeling is based on the promise that exposure to literature is one of the best ways to teach and learn writing. It is suggested that imitation is observing how someone else has done something and modeling your behavior on that standard. Imitation and modeling are not plagiarism, the deliberate appropriation of someone else’s writing and passing it off as your own.

Procedures for Modeling Literature
· Select a story or poem with a predictable pattern, which will interest your children.
· Read the story or poem to establish the pattern in memory. Then have the children identify and chorus the repeated parts of the selection.
· Invite children to describe the images and ideas the selection arouses.
· Write a class composition. Start by inviting the children to offer the first line.
· Record the composition on a large piece of paper or on the blackboard.
· Refine the first draft. Add or delete lines, improve word selection, and rearrange line and verses as needed.
· Make copies for each child and have them illustrate the composition.
· Have children write their own stories or poems using the same or a similar model.

Modeling Stories- Modeling helps children make the connection between literature and writing. Look for stories and poems that have a linguistic or structural feature that will benefit your children. Another interesting type of imitation is the writing of parodies. Parody is the imitation of the characteristic style of a literary composition. A parody borrows the structure of a literary work and adds humorous and often modern contributions not contained in the original.

Modeling Poems- While almost any poem can be modeled; it is a good idea to choose poems that appeal in some special way. Perhaps the poem presents a special challenge, or the poem makes children laugh.

Modeling Writing Skills- Modeling gives teachers a concrete way of demonstrating writing concepts and skills. Any writing concept or skill can be modeled, either directly or indirectly, through literature.

Most fiction, and certainly the best fiction, is about real life, and it has more than a dollop of truth. Good fiction is a microscope that reveals the world in all its beauty and ugliness. Writing fiction starts with observation of personal experience and diligent research. Fiction deals with representational truth.

Write about Real People, Problems, and Events
The best fiction is about real people, problems, and events. The best topics are often rather ordinary, at least on the surface. Children relate to fiction that resonates with their own feelings, thoughts, and experiences. When children understand that fiction is a combination of experience and imagination, they can begin to see what they have lived and experienced can become the source of their own fiction.

Incorporate Real-Life Experiences into Fiction
Authors draw on their personal experiences when they write fiction, and children need to understand this.

Teach Children to Research Fiction
Children may not realize that fiction writers do research for their books. Help them see how facts and fiction are related and how writers handle the interplay between factual information and imagination.

Engage Children in Literary Dialogue
The fiction children write will be timid and anemic unless they don’t understand what writers do, how they do it, and why. “Gossip” with your kids about the books they have heard of read. Talk about fictional characters. Get children’s views on what makes a good story. This can be done through informal discussions or journals.

Reflection- The pleasure of literature is double when one shares it with another. Share literature and your literary experiences with your children. Reading to children is the literary equivalent of a blood transfusion.