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 Workshop for Teachers, Grades 6-8

Individual Workshop Descriptions

1. Introducing our Literary Community
2. Encouraging Discussion
3. Going Further in Discussion
4. Diversity in Texts
5. Student Diversity
6. Literature, Art, and Other Disciplines
7. Assessment
8. Planning and Professional Development
9. Starting in September...

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Student Diversity


Key Points

Learning Objectives

Background Reading

Homework Assignment

Classroom Connection
Ongoing Activity

Additional Reading


"For a book to be worthwhile, good enough to use in class, it has to command the kid's interest, foremost."
Joe Bernhart
7th Grade Teacher, Fondren Middle School
Houston, Texas

Maybe good literature can make you think, transport you to a foreign land, or reflect on your own world. Maybe it can help you to understand human nature, yourself, and how to get along in the world. Reading a variety of genres, styles of writing, and literature portraying many ways of life builds literate thought and minds. These diverse text experiences provide opportunities for lively discussions that support envisionment building in the classroom.

The kinds of literary experiences you have each time you pick up a really good book are the same kinds of experiences you hope your students will have. Selecting the right texts is crucial to your students' literary experiences. Your guidance is critical in helping students explore a variety of literature as they make meaning for themselves.

It is important to find texts that challenge and interest students. At the same time, the texts you choose should not alienate or frustrate students. Literature should be relevant to students' lives, but it also should push students to expand their personal horizons. In Workshop 4, middle school teachers discuss these concerns and many more as they explore how they select literature for their classrooms and what factors contribute to their decisions.

For a complete guide to the workshop session activities, download and print our Support Materials.



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