|About This Video Clip
"Discussion is really important to the students because they learn from each other...They may be confused about something, and they may not admit it, or they may not even be aware that they were confused or didn't understand something. But...the discussion really enables them to clarify things that they've read."
Ms. Namba understands that her students are lifelong envisionment builders, and her goal during the year is to help them become increasingly independent. By year's end, she wants them to be completely responsible for their own literature discussions without needing her facilitation. Throughout the year, Ms. Namba uses a variety of "engagements" activities that encourage conversation and focus on learning to use the literature to make personal connections and appreciate perspectives either those presented in a text or by classmates other than their own.
BJ Namba, 3rd-Grade Teacher
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Ms. Namba believes in the power of what her students learn from the literature discussions in their book clubs a sense of responsibility, ways to make meaning from texts and information, connections to themselves, their worlds, and other texts, appreciation and respect for multiple points of view, and cooperation. These, she believes, are lifelong lessons.
In this video, you will see Ms. Namba and her third graders working together in literature book clubs centered on five different novels. In this case, Ms. Namba has chosen a number of books that focus on characters and issues quite different from those this group of students is likely to encounter in their own lives.
As you watch, note the ways in which the students assume key roles in the discussion. Ms. Namba's questions typically ask for clarification or development of student-developed lines of thought rather than directing the discussion. Clearly, such discussions are the result of a great deal of previous training. In addition, these discussions take time as students work to develop their understandings of the literature and as well as their skillful use of book club time. Ms. Namba feels that this time is well spent because of the quality of student learning it allows.
For resources that can help you use this clip for teacher professional
development, preservice education, administrative and English/language
arts content meetings, parent conferences, and back-to-school
events, visit our Support Materials
page. There you will find PDF files of our library guide, classroom
lesson plan, student activity sheets, and other Teacher Tools.