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.

Overhead Master: Response, Analysis, and Reflection
by Kathleen Dudden Rowlands

This overhead presents a way to help students become consciously aware of the recursive processes of literary envisionment: personal responses, analysis of their developing envisionments based on those responses, and reflection (with potential revisions) on both their responses and their analysis. Included here with author's permission.

Supporting Student Questions
This page offers suggestions for ways to help students ask questions during literature discussions.

Assessment and Evaluation: Some Useful Principles
The terms assessment and evaluation are often used as synonyms. Distinguishing between them can be helpful as you plan instruction. Assessment means looking at what students can do in order to determine what they need to learn to do next. That is, assessment, whether of individual students or an entire group, is done in order to inform instruction. Typically assessment is holistic, often recorded simply as "credit" or "no credit."

Evaluation occurs after a concept or skill has been taught and practiced and is typically scaled, indicating the level of achievement or degree of competence a student has attained.

Some Facts — China's "One Child" Policy
Should you choose to follow Ms. Schnabl's lead and contextualize Among the Hidden with discussion of China's "One Child" policy, this page offers a brief background on that policy as well as direction for further Internet research.

Internet Research Activity for China's "One Child" Policy With Suggestions for Assessment
Should you choose to have your students collect their own information, this page provides suggestions for offering students an Internet research activity on this topic as well as a specific assignment that helps them explore different Internet search engines.

Possibilities and Assessment Suggestions for "The Quiet World" — Write Your Own Poem
As a further exploration of the theme of government limits on individual freedoms, Ms. Schnabl asks her students to write a poem modeled on "The Quiet World." This Teacher Tool is connected to the student activity sheet, "The Quiet World" — Write Your Own Poem.

Role-Playing Directions for Among the Hidden and Assessment Suggestions
To help students understand the thoughts and feelings of the characters in the novel, Ms. Schnabl has them work in groups to develop and perform a skit based on events in Chapter 4 of Among the Hidden.

Developing Questions for Literature Discussion
by Kathleen Dudden Rowlands

This brief article offers suggestions for ways to frame discussion questions to stimulate the richest responses from students. Included here with author's permission.

Parent Letter
Ms. Schnabl likes to keep parents informed about classroom topics and activities and involve them, when possible, in their children's learning. In this letter, she encourages them to help her students understand the loneliness of Luke's seclusion by isolating themselves in their rooms for several hours during a weekend.

Text Pairings
As you 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 lesson plan include:

  • Among the Imposters by Margaret Haddix (a sequel)
  • Running Out of Time by Margaret Haddix
  • Just Ella by Margaret Haddix
  • Gathering Blue by Lois Lowry
  • The Giver by Lois Lowry
  • Holes by Louis Sachan Frieder
  • The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier
  • Antigone by Sophocles (reasonably priced film versions are readily available)

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