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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Key Points

Learning Objectives

Background Reading

Homework Assignment

Classroom Connection
Ongoing Activity

Additional Reading


"They [students] need to hear what other kids think and that builds on the layers of what they each are thinking and it makes them ask questions."
Linda Rief
8th Grade Teacher, Oyster River Middle School
Durham, New Hampshire

We learn best by contemplating and synthesizing new information. By turning over new concepts in our minds and raising questions, we better understand how to apply the knowledge in multiple situations. This is what makes us critical thinkers.

Literary discussion gives students an opportunity to develop their own interpretations, challenge their initial understandings, raise questions, and grow as critical thinkers and literate members of society.

How can teachers encourage thoughtful discussion in their literature classrooms? What instructional techniques encourage students to discuss literature and how do we plan for these discussions? In this workshop, eight middle school teachers address these concerns and share strategies they use to support and nurture students' discussion of literature.

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



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