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 Workshop for Teachers, Grades 6-8

Individual Workshop Descriptions

1. Introducing our Literary Community
2. Encouraging Discussion
3. Going Further in Discussion
4. Diversity in Texts
5. Student Diversity
6. Literature, Art, and Other Disciplines
7. Assessment
8. Planning and Professional Development
9. Starting in September...

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Interrelationships Between Literature and Other Arts and Disciplines


Key Points

Learning Objectives

Background Reading

Homework Assignment

Classroom Connection
Ongoing Activity

Additional Reading

Extension: Classroom Connection

Student Activities
Choose a short piece of literature such as a poem. Divide your students into groups and ask each group to choose one of the following presentations:

  1. Create a dramatic reading of the poem using your voices-individually or in unison-to present the poem's meaning(s) to the class.
  2. Set the poem to music and prepare to sing it to the class.
  3. Create and perform a dance that conveys the poem to the class.
  4. Choose another mode of presentation that involves rhythm, music, and/or dance.

Divide the class into groups. Give each group a different short script. Ask them to prepare a Reader's Theater presentation of their script, limiting their acting to verbal interpretation and brief hand gestures. (See the Appendix in the Support Materials.)

Teacher as a Reflective Practitioner
Many administrators and parents undervalue integrating the arts in the literature curriculum. Brainstorm a list of reasons for such attitudes. Then list the arguments you might use if called upon to justify the inclusion of activities such as art, drama, or music in your classroom. How might you convince such critics that these activities are not frivolous add-ons, but rather useful tools for extending student thinking about literary texts?

Additional Connections:
The following teacher-developed materials are available in other programs in this series:

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