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: Resources

Use the resources below to assist you in the renewal of your classroom lesson. Consider using the Lesson Builder Template as a framework for your lesson analysis and restructuring. In addition, use the links below as a springboard for your own creative thought.

Envisionment Building Online Resources:
The Center on English Learning & Achievement (CELA)
The Center on English Learning & Achievement's site is rich with reports on their current research on topics such as envisionment building and ways to support it in your classroom.
Many of CELA's publications are also available at this site. For example, "Guidelines for Teaching Middle and High School Students to Read and Write Well: Six Features of Effective Instruction," is an especially pertinent article which was rated as one of Middle Web's "Top Twenty Articles for Folks Interested in School Reform and the Middle Grades" in 2000.

Some additional notable articles and reports from the CELA web site include "Envisioning Literature — In the Classroom and Out," where Betty Close, a participant in Dr. Judith Langer's study, reflects upon her experiences in the classroom, how envisionment building impacted her own teaching and students' learning experiences.

Envisionment Building
Visit this link for additional reports and articles on envisionment building.

The National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE)
The National Council of Teachers of English site provides many resources for language arts teachers at all grade levels. The search feature on the homepage will help you locate resources related to envisionment building and Dr. Langer. You might want to explore the NCTE Reading Initiative portion of their site, which includes valuable links, leading to current research and professional development and curriculum resources related to reading literature.

Strategic Literacy Initiative (SLI)
A non-profit organization based in California, SLI offers research and resources focusing on the improvement of student literacy at the secondary level.

Think Aloud: Consider using this steam-of-consciousness approach to responding to literature out loud [click here for a PDF version].

Literary Community Discussion Guidelines: Utilize this suggested list of discussion guidelines to begin building a classroom literary community [click here for a PDF version].

Literature Circles: This is a cooperative approach to literature discussion, where students take ownership of literary dialogue in small groups. Reader's Theater: Consider using this creative and dramatic approach to literature instruction, where students' interpretations affect their read alouds, from voice inflection to body language and the use of props. The possibilities are endless. Visit the following links to learn more about reader's theater: Sample Stance-Framed Questions: As you reflect upon your classroom discussions, consider the types of questions you ask your students. Are you requiring students to use critical thinking skills, moving beyond their initial hunches of a reading? Consider framing discussion questions around the four stances, so that students have the opportunity to respond to a text from a variety of positions and perspectives.

Click here to access sample questions that can be utilized to develop a literary discussion [click here for a PDF version].

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