You may want to try these activities back in the classroom.
Videotape a classroom literary discussion. View the tape later
for analysis, focusing on the quality of the conversation and
the stances students and teacher utilized in the discussion.
As a reflective practitioner, think about the extent to which
you as the teacher and facilitator influenced the dialogue.
What can you do in the future to guide the students through
all facets of the envisionment-building process? How can teacher
comments push the process along? How can teacher comments hinder
the process? What questions could you ask that might bring about
a richer literary dialogue? What comments could you have made
after student interjections that would lead the conversation
in a more complex direction? What hints can you pick up from
student comments that indicate their level of understanding
or lack of understanding? Did you validate students' input?
Were all students in the community involved in the conversation?
How can you get more students involved? Did the literary community
support all ideas presented? What activities might lend themselves
well to this process and community? What follow-up activity
would benefit the students in this community?
. . .
Consider implementing literature circles or small discussion
groups, where each member of the group has a specific role and
responsibility. Allow students to lead their own literature
discussions. Circulate throughout the classroom to observe groups
as well as to hear threads of discussion. Wrap up the class
meeting with the groups reporting about their discussions and
accomplishments. Use this time to allow groups to challenge
one another, as well as to raise questions. If this is the first
time you have implemented small group literature discussions,
you might consider utilizing one group the first time, positioning
them at the center of the room while the rest of the class observes
the group, its roles, the conversation, and how the group works
together. This is a fish bowl effect. This will
allow you to teach the students about the group roles, your
expectations, and about how literature groups should work in
Online resources related to this activity can be accessed at:
Education World's comprehensive article and resource links about
for the Literature Circles Resource Center, which includes samples
of classroom structuring, units, teacher resources, and more.
. . .
Using the Envisionment Building Stance
Wheel [click here for a PDF
version] from the Watch the Workshop Video portion of the
print guide for Workshop 7, create questions specific to a piece
of literature you are reading with your own students. Use these
questions to lead a whole-class literature discussion with your
students or print a list of the questions generated from the
wheel for use in small group discussions. These questions can
be used as conversation starters for the students. Consider
mixing up the order of the questions or lay them out on a piece
of paper in a random format. Not only will students learn what
"good" questions look like, they will also begin to
pose their own thought-provoking questions. The Envisionment
Building Stance Wheel Sample Questions [click here for a
PDF version] may help
you get started.