Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum

Teacher professional development and classroom resources across the curriculum

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Making Meaning in Literature Grades 6-8
Conversations in Literature — Workshop

About Making Meaning in Literature: A Video Library, Grades 6-8

Individual Clip Descriptions

1. Introducing the Envisionment-Building Classroom
2. Building a Literary Community
3. Asking Questions
4. Facilitating Discussion
5. Seminar Discussion
6. Dramatic Tableaux
7. Readers as Individuals
8. The Teacher’s Role in a Literary Community
9. Whole Group Discussions

HomeEnvisionment BuildingHelpful Hints for Site LeadersLesson BuilderSearch this SiteSite Map



Assessment & Reflection

Lesson Builder

Think Aloud

Discussion Guidelines

Sample Stance-Framed Questions

Lesson Builder: Introduction


Now that you have explored the envisionment-building process and revisited the joy of reading literature, we invite you to reflect upon your own instructional practices. Take this opportunity to help your students make rich connections to text, opening whole new worlds to their literary experiences.

Learning Objectives

At the conclusion of the Lesson Builder, you will:
  • Implement the envisionment-building process in an existing classroom lesson.
  • Take stock of your own instructional practices, considering which ones support a literary community and which ones need to be renewed.
  • Begin to create a literary community within your own classroom.

Taking Stock:
Which instructional strategies are you currently using in your classroom that you think support envisionment building and foster a literary community? What instructional practices do not support an envisionment-building environment? What instructional strategies would you like to implement in the future to create your own literary community? Keep these questions in mind as you move through the Lesson Builder.

Getting Started:
Select a classroom lesson that you feel comfortable renewing for future use. Consider selecting a single lesson, rather than an entire unit or series of lessons. This will give you the opportunity to experiment with new instructional approaches, rethink and enhance what you are already doing, and reflect upon what works for you and your students and what does not.

Lesson Analysis and Renewal:
Using the Lesson Builder Template, review your lesson's instructional approaches and strategies [click here for a PDF version].

As you begin to evaluate the lesson, you might consider the following:
  • What is the role of the teacher?
  • What is the role of the student? How do the activities focus on students' thinking?
  • How are students given a variety of opportunities to build envisionments?
  • How are students' interpretations valued in the instructional process?
  • What instructional approaches support envisionment building? Explain.
  • What instructional approaches hinder envisionment building? Explain.
  • What can you do to foster a sense of community in this lesson?
  • How can students take ownership for their own literary interpretations?
  • How are multiple perspectives valued and shared in the community?
  • How is the class meeting time utilized for students to question, critique, and challenge?
  • How are students encouraged to find their own interpretations, adjust them, question them, and even challenge and evaluate them?
  • How is a sense of mutual respect fostered among the members of your community?
  • How do you respond to students' perspectives during a classroom discussion? Are there ways to move the conversation along by responding with additional questions? Explain.



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