Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum

Teacher professional development and classroom resources across the curriculum

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Teacher Resources/Literature
Making Meaning in Literature: A Video Library, Grades 6-8

A video library for middle school language arts teachers; 9 twenty-minute video programs, library guide, and Web site

This video library opens a window into grades 6-8 language arts classrooms, allowing you to witness the teaching practices of eight exemplary teachers. In diverse classrooms, these teachers use a variety of pedagogical techniques to guide their students into unique and enriching relationships with literature. These relationships, which noted researcher Dr. Judith Langer calls "envisionments," help students become more involved readers and develop lifelong enthusiasm for literature. The teachers in these video programs model techniques that help create literary communities — supportive atmospheres for developing readers who are able to speak and write effectively about the texts they encounter. The accompanying print guide and Web site show you how to draw upon these classroom models for professional development, curriculum planning, parent and community outreach, and a variety of other uses.

Produced by Maryland Public Television. 2003.

Closed Caption     ISBN: 1-57680-528-X

This series was discontinued on June 25, 2019.

Seventh-grade students pose questions and topics.
Seventh-grade students pose questions and topics.

Enter the Series Web Site
Individual Program Descriptions
Related Resources See all
Making Meaning in Literature: A Workshop for Teachers, Grades 6-8
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Literature Discipline Page
Individual Program Descriptions

VOD1. Introducing the Envisionment-Building Classroom
In this program, Dr. Langer describes the hallmarks of an envisionment–building classroom — a place where students, working at the highest levels of their ability, can experience literature and make meaning for themselves. Her comments are illustrated by classroom examples. Go to this unit.

VOD2. Building a Literary Community
In Joe Bernhart's diverse seventh–grade language arts classroom in Houston, Texas, students work in small groups with a variety of texts in contemporary young adult literature. Bernhart demonstrates how he encourages students to develop deeper understandings of the text. Go to this unit.

VOD3. Asking Questions
In a seventh–grade gifted and talented language arts class in Miami, Florida, Ana Hernandez prompts students to pose their own questions as they read Sharon Draper's Tears of a Tiger. As they discuss major issues of the text and consider the actions of the characters, the students immerse themselves within the story. Go to this unit.

VOD4. Facilitating Discussion
Students in Tanya Schnabl's sixth–grade language arts class in rural Sherburne, New York, become involved with Among the Hidden, Margaret Peterson Haddix's futuristic text. As Schnabl encourages discussion of the text on many levels, the students move beyond their first impressions of the book to internalize lessons and make them their own. Go to this unit.

VOD5. Seminar Discussion
Dorothy Franklin's diverse seventh–grade language arts classroom in the heart of Chicago focuses on Langston Hughes's short story, "Passing." Franklin encourages her students to take on the perspective of the characters in the text, with some surprising and satisfying results. Go to this unit.

VOD6. Dramatic Tableaux
This program features the seventh–grade Berlin, Maryland, classroom of Dr. Jan Currence. Currence and her students delve into Christopher Paul Curtis's The Watsons Go to Birmingham — 1963. Currence first models and then engages students in tableau activities, in which students draw on their experiences to bring the text to life for others. Go to this unit.

VOD7. Readers as Individuals
This program visits Flora Tyler's sixth–grade language arts class in Las Cruces, New Mexico, to show how one teacher, using writing and reading workshop models, works with students who are each reading a different literary text. Go to this unit.

VOD8. The Teacher's Role in a Literary Community
Barry Hoonan's fifth– and sixth–grade language arts class on Bainbridge Island in Washington are studying a variety of contemporary young adult fiction titles. As students meet in small groups to focus on each text, Hoonan demonstrates how teachers can tactfully and effectively guide these discussions. Go to this unit.

VOD9. Whole-Group Discussions
Witness an effective literary community as Linda Rief's eighth–grade language arts class in Durham, New Hampshire discusses Lois Lowry's The Giver. Here, the students work as a group to examine the text and discern the ways its themes relate to their lives.



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