Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum

Teacher professional development and classroom resources across the curriculum

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Making Meaning in Literature Grades 6-8
Conversations in Literature — Workshop

About Making Meaning in Literature: A Video Library, Grades 6-8

Individual Clip Descriptions

1. Introducing the Envisionment-Building Classroom
2. Building a Literary Community
3. Asking Questions
4. Facilitating Discussion
5. Seminar Discussion
6. Dramatic Tableaux
7. Readers as Individuals
8. The Teacher’s Role in a Literary Community
9. Whole Group Discussions

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About This Video Clip

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Classroom Snapshot

Classroom Lesson Plan

Professional Reflection

Teacher Tools
Additional Resources

About This Video Clip

"I feel sometimes that I'm asking more questions than I should; that they should be the ones that are asking. So I just monitor myself — like today I had the students come up with their own questions."
Ana Hernandez, Teacher
Howard A. Doolin Middle School
Miami, Florida

Ms. Hernandez motivates students to get involved with the texts they read by selecting engaging young adult literature that features adolescents struggling with real problems. Ms. Hernandez believes that students become highly engaged in their reading experiences and gain greater literacy when they see themselves and real life conflicts in the literature they read.

a student writingIn this lesson, students in Ms. Hernandez's class are reading the young adult novel Tears of a Tiger by Sharon Draper. These students have been identified as Gifted and Talented within their school. Students read aloud short passages and discuss the text with teacher facilitation. As they read, students pose and respond to questions about the text. Students are encouraged to express their own interpretations and unique perspectives about the passages. Ms. Hernandez pushes the class discussion along by returning students' comments with additional questions, constantly asking students to consider how characters behave in the story, what the students would do in the characters' situations, and what lessons about life they can take from the text.

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Students are assessed through participation in class discussion, written questions and answers, and culminating projects and assignments.

For resources that can help you use this clip for teacher professional development, preservice education, administrative and English/language arts content meetings, parent conferences, and back-to-school events, visit our Support Materials page. There, you will find PDF files of our library guide, classroom lesson plan, student activity sheets, and other Teacher Tools.



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