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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
Envisioning

Introduction

Resources

Assessment & Reflection

Lesson Builder
Template


Think Aloud

Discussion Guidelines

Sample Stance-Framed Questions

Lesson Builder: Think Aloud

A Think Aloud is an activity where readers verbalize their internal thoughts while building an understanding of what they are reading. This process of figuring out what the text means begins from the very moment readers pick up a book and glance at its title. Readers' thoughts might include questions, connections to personal experiences and past reading experiences, judgments of the author's writing, as well as thoughts about their lives. Consider the following leading questions and statements as you prepare to model a Think Aloud for your students:

When you first approach the text:
  • What does the title mean?
  • This reminds me of...
  • I've heard of this...
  • The title...
  • This author is known for...
Throughout your reading:
  • I predict that this will be about...
  • I predict that the character will...
  • I am surprised by...because...
  • I am confused by...
  • Why didn't the character....
  • I imagine the character to be like...
  • I've had experiences similar to...I have read something similar to this before...
  • This type of literature usually...
  • What happened....when....I didn't get it...
  • This is different from what I expected...
  • I originally thought..., but now I think...because....
  • I particularly like the phrase...word....image...
  • I did not understand...
  • This reminds me of ...
  • This literature makes me wonder if I made the right decision when...
  • It must be easy/difficult/interesting to be that character, because...
  • I would/not want to be that character's friend because...
  • I imagine the town/setting/place/house/etc. to be like.... I think this because...
  • I think the author wrote about it this way because...
  • The word choices of the author are...
Throughout your reading:
  • My overall opinion/reaction to story/passage is...
  • Some points I still did not understand are...
  • Some questions/concerns I would like to discuss include...
  • Some connections with my own experiences (reading and life experiences) are...
  • The author built a believable story because...
  • From this literature, I have learned that...
  • This piece makes the following statement about society or culture...
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