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

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About This Video Clip

Featured Texts

Classroom Snapshot

Classroom Lesson Plan

Professional Reflection

Teacher Tools
Additional Resources

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.

Modeling for Students
Understanding character is one key to unlocking a more complete vision of any text. Teachers can help students do this by extensive modeling, clearly demonstrating how they interact with a story to understand characters as they read aloud to their students. You should not afraid to make conjectures about motivation or relationships that might prove more complicated or even contradicted at a later point in the reading experience. Students need to see that all readers, even the most expert, make and then refine or perhaps discard impressions as they form envisionments of the text.

Resources focused on Building a Literary Community
Use these resources about improving literary understanding and improving thinking skills produced by the National Research Center on English Learning and Achievement. Information about scaffolding instruction, strategies for improving literary understanding, and including struggling readers is provided at CELA's Web site. All of these resources can help you as you begin to assess your own classroom success in helping students create envisionments.

Improving Literary Understanding Through Classroom Conversation
Effective Literature Instruction Develops Thinking Skills

Text Pairings
As you begin to plan literature experiences for your students, consider offering text pairings, so that students have a rich palette of text background and reading experiences to draw upon in their literary conversations. Some texts that may complement the ones used in this classroom lesson plan include:

  • To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
  • A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry
  • Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred Taylor
  • Let the Circle Be Unbroken by Mildred Taylor

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