Teacher resources and professional development 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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Student Diversity


Introduction

Key Points

Learning Objectives

Background Reading

Homework Assignment

Classroom Connection
Ongoing Activity

Additional Reading


Homework Assignment

Journal:
Take a trip to a public library and peruse the young adult fiction section. Select three books that you have not read and that you think will interest your students. Check them out from the library. Keep in mind all of the criteria raised in the workshop for the selection of diverse texts for students. Write down the titles and authors in your workshop journal. Write a few sentences next to each title, explaining why you think students might enjoy the book. If you have time, consider reading one of the books on your own. Later, you can share your reading experience with your students through a book talk or a read aloud. You will be asked to share your three selections at Workshop 5. If possible, bring the actual books with you to the next workshop.

Reading:
In preparation for Workshop 5, review "Literature for Students the System Has Failed" in Dr. Judith Langer's Envisioning Literature from the Teachers College Press. Copyright 1995. ISBN 0-8077-3464-0.

You may also be interested in the report "Literacy Through Literature in Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Classrooms," by Paola Bonissone, Eija Rougle, and Judith Langer, available through the CELA home page. This report explains how oral storytelling and interactions helped English students gain literacy. The report features both a three-year-old case study participant as well as a young adult.

For additional resources, refer to the Additional Reading section of this workshop's materials.

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