Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum

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Engaging With Literature: A Video Library, Grades 3-5
Library
Engaging With Literature
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About This Video Library

Lesson Builder

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Video Titles:

1. Signposts

2. Voices in the Conversation

3. Starting Out

4. Responding
to Literature


5. Sharing the Text

6. Building Community

7. Book Buddies
About This Video Clip »
Support Materials»
Classroom Snapshot »
Classroom Lesson Plan »
Professional Reflection »
Teacher Tools
Additional Resources »

8. Finding
Common Ground


9. Discussion
Strategies


Site Map

7. Book Buddies

Teacher Tools

Whether you are a classroom or preservice teacher, teacher educator, content leader, department chair, or administrator, the materials below can assist you in implementing the practices presented in the video clip.

Assessment and Evaluation: Some Useful Principles
The terms assessment and evaluation are often used as synonyms. Distinguishing between them can be helpful as you plan instruction. Assessment means looking at what students can do in order to determine what they need to learn to do next. That is, assessment, whether of individual students or an entire group, occurs as students are engaged in the act of learning in order to inform instruction. Typically assessment is holistic, often recorded simply as "credit" or "no credit."

Evaluation occurs after a concept or skill has been taught and practiced and is typically scaled, indicating the level of achievement or degree of competence a student has attained.

Responding Visually to Literature
Many language arts teachers have come intuitively to use visual activities to support their literature instruction. Non-verbal activities provide an opportunity for students to develop and display their growing understanding and enjoyment of the literature in informal ways as they develop visual representations of their thinking.

In his preface to Phyllis Whitin's Sketching Stories, Stretching Minds: Responding Visually to Literature (for the complete citation, see "Additional Resources" in the library guide), Jerome Harste reminds us that "literacy is much more than reading and writing" (x). He tells us that literacy is "the process by which we mediate the world" which "means to create sign systems-mathematics, art, music, dance, language"-which "act as lenses that permit us better to understand ourselves and our world" (x).

When we take what we know from one sign system and represent it in another-as when we take a written text and represent it graphically-we are using transmediation, a process that "is both natural and basic to literacy" (x). Such transmediation has enormous value in the classroom. As students resee, they rethink. Rethinking, they understand in fresh ways, and their pleasure grows with their developing insights.

For less able readers, the very act of focusing on a brief passage or scene and doing what more skilled readers seem to do invisibly helps them develop the visualization powers to process texts effectively. Not only are they developing their understanding of a specific text, they are expanding their skill as readers.

Sketch to Stretch
Based on ideas developed by Phyllis Whitin and presented in her book Sketching Stories, Stretching Minds: Responding Visually to Literature, the basic premise behind Sketch to Stretch is that creating a visual based on a literary work stretches student thinking, helping them to see the text in new ways.

Written Conversations
Each student begins a conversation about the book by writing a question and giving it to his or her Book Buddy who then writes an answer. The papers are passed back and forth as students explore their understandings of, and responses to, the selection. The process continues until one of the partners terminates the conversation.

Text Pairings
As you plan literature experiences for your students, consider offering text pairings. Some teachers like to introduce students to a number of books by the same author. Others try to find books with similarities in theme or content. Books that have received awards and appear to be developing into contemporary classics are also favored choices. No list of suggestions can be complete or can address every criterion. However, the following list of some of Patricia Polacco's works may help you choose titles to complement Chicken Sunday.

Babushka's Doll
Boat Ride With Lillian Two Blossom
The Butterfly
Christmas Tapestry
El Pollo De Los Domingos
Just Plain Fancy
The Keeping Quilt
Mr. Lincoln's Way
My Rotten Redheaded Older Brother
Pink and Say
Rechenka's Eggs
Some Birthday!
Thank You, Mr. Falker
Thunder Cake
When Lightening Comes in a Jar







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