Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum

Teacher professional development and classroom resources across the curriculum

Monthly Update sign up
Mailing List signup

Engaging With Literature: A Video Library, Grades 3-5
Engaging With Literature

About This Video Library

Lesson Builder

Hints for Site Leaders
Video Titles:

1. Signposts

2. Voices in the Conversation

3. Starting Out
About This Video Clip »
Support Materials»
Classroom Snapshot »
Classroom Lesson Plan »
Professional Reflection »
Teacher Tools
Additional Resources »

4. Responding
to Literature

5. Sharing the Text

6. Building Community

7. Book Buddies

8. Finding
Common Ground

9. Discussion

Site Map

3. Starting Out

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.

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 a scaled response, indicating the level of achievement or degree of competence a student has attained.

Structuring Literary Responses

Many teachers find it helpful to provide students who are learning ways to respond to literature with a simple chart or form to record responses. Mr. Holden's chart simply asks students to list what they liked, what they didn't like, puzzles (questions or confusions) they identified, and personal connections they made. In this way, he is able to identify (and explicitly accept) a range of responses. The categories on the chart assume that students will find some aspect of the poem pleasurable, but it also accepts the fact that there may be parts that a reader doesn't like. The chart foregrounds questions and confusions as a normal part of literary response, and provides an opportunity for making such problems visible so they can be dealt with. Finally, the chart reminds students that personal connections are central to the understanding and enjoyment of literature and brings those connections front and center for group sharing. You may wish to adopt Mr. Holden's chart "as is" for use in your classroom (see "Poetry Response Chart"), or you may find that modifying it will make it more functional for you and your students. See "Students Informal Written Responses to 'Last Touch' " for samples of how Mr. Holden's students responded to this activity.

Text Pairings

As you plan literature experiences for your students, consider offering text pairings. Some teachers like to introduce students to a number of works by the same author. Others try to find texts with similarities in theme or content. Works or authors that have received awards and appear to be developing into contemporary classics are also favored choices. No list of suggestions can be complete or can address every criterion. You may find it useful to follow Mr. Holden's example and group specific poems for specific lessons. The list of poetry collections found in the Additional Resources section of the print support materials should provide a helpful starting point for collecting poems that your students will enjoy.


© Annenberg Foundation 2017. All rights reserved. Legal Policy