Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum

Teacher professional development and classroom resources across the curriculum

Monthly Update sign up
Mailing List signup

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...

HomeEnvisionment BuildingHelpful Hints for Site LeadersLesson BuilderSearch this SiteSite Map
Interrelationships Between Literature and Other Arts and Disciplines


Key Points

Learning Objectives

Background Reading

Homework Assignment

Classroom Connection
Ongoing Activity

Additional Reading

Key Points

  • The visual arts, music, and drama provide effective ways for students to develop literary envisionments.
  • Teachers are integrating history, social studies, science, and even math with literary experiences.
  • Students benefit cognitively when they are exposed to various art forms while studying literature. Art, drama, and music enable students to explore their literary understandings more deeply and expand their thinking about texts.
  • Integrating social studies, history, and science with literature study helps students by adding a human dimension to the content. Embedding literature study in the context of social studies, history, or science helps students expand their literary understandings.
  • Art, drama, and music can provide different points of entry into literature, especially for students with diverse learning styles.
  • The arts can provide realistic or metaphorical representations of literary meanings.
  • To maximize their value in the literature classroom, art, drama, and music should be integral to literature study, not just seen as add-ons.
  • Art provides students with another way to talk about their literary understandings.
  • Visual art, drama, and music provide additional ways for teachers to see students thinking about a literary text as well as a way to help students develop their understandings.
  • The arts elevate literacy comprehension and further envisionment-building because they force students to shuttle back and forth between their literary understandings and their artistic creations.
  • Having students dramatize characters or situations helps further their understandings. Skits, role-playing, and other dramatic activities help students understand characters and the situations they are in.
  • Dramatic activities provide excellent ways for students to share what they have read with one another.
  • Convincing administrators, parents, and other teachers of the value of integrating the arts in the literature classroom can be difficult; others may view the arts as non-essential, or even frivolous.
  • The arts can help students develop their sense of imagery, an important aspect of envisionment-building.
  • Social studies and history are often paired with literature because literature offers new ways of seeing historical periods and events.
  • Contextualizing literature with social studies and history enriches the study of the literature.

 previous   next 


© Annenberg Foundation 2017. All rights reserved. Legal Policy