Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum

Teacher professional development and classroom resources across the curriculum

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Engaging With Literature: A Workshop for Teachers, Grades 3-5

About This Workshop

Asking Questions: An Interactive Guide
1. Foundations

Introduction »

Key Points

Learning Objectives »

Background Reading »

Homework »

Classroom Connection »

Teacher Reflection »

Ongoing Activity »

Additional Reading »

2. Looking at Literature

3. Starting Classroom Conversations

4. Classroom Dialogues

5. Using Art and Other Disciplines To Enrich Classroom Conversations

6. Beginning the Year

7. Many Students: Many Voices and Abilities

8. Reacting to Students' Work

9. The Professional Teacher

Site Map

Workshop 1. Foundations

Key Points

Students use technology to interact with literature
  • The four principles of an envisionment-building  classroom are:
    1. All students are lifelong envisionment builders. Their background and experience helps them bring  some knowledge to the text.
    2. Questions are at the heart of the literary experience. Students are encouraged to ask questions to deepen their understandings.
    3. Multiple perspectives also enrich a student's understanding. Many points of view are encouraged.
    4. Class is a time to develop deeper understandings about literature. It's assumed that students will leave class with a more sophisticated understanding about what they've read than they had when they arrived.

  • Providing reading time in the classroom is important for many children.

  • Many students need to be taught the strategies and behaviors for a good conversation about literature.

  • Regular read-alouds are important in the development of students' appreciation of literature.

  • Envisionment-building teachers seek to help students love literature and make it an important part of their lives-in school and out.

  • Students can make personal connections with literary texts as well as use them to learn about worlds and experiences very different from their own.

  • Talking about literature helps students enjoy and appreciate it more fully.

  • Many envisionment-building teachers find ways to use literature when teaching subjects other than English/ Language Arts.

  • Students may need help learning ways to reflect on their reading and make connections with their own lives.

  • Some students need help learning to make mental images from their reading.

  • Often teachers can use their own experiences as readers as a guide when designing ways to help their students become more effective readers.

  • Think-alouds model strategies for making meaning and allow students to integrate them into their own repertoires.

  • Effective readers often begin with a plan, a purpose, or a goal before they start to read.

  • Learning to choose the right book is an important aspect of being an effective reader.

  • Effective readers like to discuss their literary experiences with others.

  • Students in envisionment-building classrooms feel comfortable and trust that their views will be respectfully received.

  • Teachers in envisionment-building classrooms recognize the importance of giving students choices about what they read.

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