Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum

Teacher professional development and classroom resources across the curriculum

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Conversations in Literature
Conversations in Literature — Workshop

Individual Program

1. Responding
as Readers

2. Envisioning

3. Stepping In

4. Moving Through

5. Rethinking

6. Objectifying
the Text

7. The Stances
in Action

8. Returning to the

Support Materials

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Key Points

Learning Objectives

Background Reading

Homework Assignment

Classroom Connection

Ongoing Activity
Additional Reading


What actually happens when readers encounter a text for the first time? How do they make sense of it and what processes do their brains go through as they get further immersed in the literature? Why are some readers successful and others are not? More importantly, how does our teaching impact the success of readers?

Dr. Judith Langer spent more than eight years studying these questions. She discovered that readers who have close transactions with text take a journey in the text world as they read. She describes the process these effective readers go through as envisionment building. Competent readers build envisionments, or their own understandings of the text, by moving through a variety of stances. Stances are options that allow readers to gather information, make personal connections, reflect upon their own lives, and critique and analyze the craft of the author and their experiences with the text. These options occur throughout the reading process, in a random sequence.

In this second workshop program in the series of eight, Dr. Langer defines the process of envisionment building, examines the stances or positions readers take in relationship to the text, and comments on the implications this research has on classroom practices. Panelists also comment on their own reading experiences and journeys with text as they build envisionments. They celebrate these journeys together as they talk about the ways their discussions helped them form closer, personal transactions with a variety of literary texts.

For a complete guide to the workshop session activities, download and print our support materials.



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