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

HomeEnvisionment BuildingHelpful Hints for Site LeadersLesson BuilderSearch this SiteSite Map
Moving Through


Key Points

Learning Objectives

Background Reading

Homework Assignment

Classroom Connection

Ongoing Activity
Additional Reading


Being In and Moving Through a text is the point in the envisionment-building process where readers develop a deeper understanding, all the while connecting human possibilities and experiences to make meaning out of the text. Readers in this stance are utilizing ideas, hunches, past experiences in reading, and life experiences to build a hearty envisionment. Readers immerse themselves in the text world, trying on multiple perspectives and posing "what if" questions to examine all aspects of the story.

>This is the stage in the reading experience when readers actually live in the text, trying on characters and their interactions, totally immersing themselves in the text's words and images. When readers enter this close transaction with a text, they often have more questions than answers. Not only is this expected in the envisionment-building process, it is celebrated. By capitalizing on the experiences and questions of many, each individual in the classroom community creates a fuller, but somewhat unique, vision of the text than what might have occurred without the company of others in that journey.

Some of the questions that readers consciously and subconsciously ask themselves during this stance might include:

  • What isn't being told? What would you still like to know?
  • Who are these characters and are they like anyone I know?
  • How do those people feel about their circumstances?
  • How do I feel about...?
  • What have I experienced in my own life that is similar to this? Different from this?
  • What if the character...?
  • What if it happened this way?
  • What other texts have I read that inform this one and in what ways?
  • How have the characters changed over time or across the story?
  • What motivated the characters' behaviors or what led them to their actions?
  • How would you describe the relationships of the characters in the text?
  • How would someone from a different culture or background interpret the story?
  • Do I like these characters? Does what they are doing make sense? Would I have done the same thing in this situation?
  • How is the plot developing?
  • What are the characters like? Are they acting as I expected?
  • How do the characters feel about and relate to each other? How will this affect the story?
  • How do I think the piece might end?
It is important to understand that Being In and Moving Through is just one position readers take in relationship to a text. Readers recursively draw upon all four stances in order to build a rich understanding. If teachers are aware of what readers do in this stance and others, it allows them to strategically design instructional activities, so that students become effective readers, intuitively asking these questions on their own.

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



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