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.
Mini-Lesson: OWL Logs
Use this mini-lesson to prepare students to work with their
Teacher Planning Tips
mini-lesson should take up no more than 10 to 15 minutes
of class time.
mini-lessons are singular topics of whole-class instruction,
meant to give students a brief overview of a concept, explore
the author's craft, ponder a question, or hone a skill.
Often the mini-lesson provides a segue into the application
of new learning.
can also be student-directed, in which students are given
a guide, following the teacher's predetermined path of learning.
Here, students are asked to define concepts and synthesize
the information. Then students apply the information in
a meaningful way.
should be given many opportunities to apply the new learning
beyond their initial introduction.
providing a mini-lesson in which students construct their
own understanding of a concept, instead of directly defining
terms for students. For instance, when teaching the concept
mood, provide several sample passages with distinct moods.
Ask students to describe the difference in the passages
and how the authors crafted their meaning. They may arrive
at the term mood on their own or you may suggest the term
to them after they have identified the concept in their
Suggestions for Assessing OWL
Mr. Bernhart assesses the OWL logs holistically. The logs
provide a sampling of how the groups are processing the book
and what kinds of connections they are making with the text.
He suggests that teachers:
one OWL log per group.
in the margins of the students' OWL logs, challenging them
to go deeper into issues.
key grammar errors for correction.
the OWL logs as an assessment tool in addition to observing
their expectations to the students:
all sections of the log.
and elaborate all viewpoints.
significant points from the group discussion.
Building a Literary Community
These materials from the Conversations in Literature
Web site can help you build a literary community within your
Tip Sheet: Supporting Your Child's Learning at Home
Use this tip sheet as
a resource when encouraging parents to support learning in
As you begin to plan literature experiences for your students,
consider offering text pairings, so that students have a rich
palette of text background and reading experiences to draw
upon in their literary conversations. Some texts that may
complement the ones used in this classroom lesson plan include:
Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
Tar Baby by Toni Morrison
Sula by Toni Morrison
Black Like Me by John Howard Griffin
The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American
Slave by Frederick Douglass
Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl by Harriet A.
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
Go Tell It on the Mountain by James Baldwin