Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum

Teacher professional development and classroom resources across the curriculum

Monthly Update sign up
Mailing List signup

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

HomeEnvisionment BuildingHelpful Hints for Site LeadersLesson BuilderSearch this SiteSite Map
About Conversations in Literature

Conversations in Literature is a professional development workshop series for language arts teachers working with students in middle and high schools. We hope you will see these programs as a chance to step back from your professional lives and think about the very basics of your career – remembering why you love literature and exploring what you can do to awaken this same sense of joy for the readers in your classroom.

In these programs, you will meet a group of people not unlike yourselves. Although they have made different career choices — some are teachers, some are professors, and others are authors — they all have several things in common.

They all feel that being engaged in literature is one of the most satisfying and enriching experiences of their lives. And they are also passionate about teaching literature. They all believe that it is important for all students to know the joys they themselves feel as they interact with poems, short stories, drama, and other works of fiction.

We brought these readers together to talk about some important works of classical and contemporary literature. As you observe their discussions, we hope you will do three things:
  • Observe these readers and their discussions as examples of the ways effective readers interact with a text and each other.
  • Explore the habits of the mind these readers employ and how they help them form unique and intricate interactions with the text.
  • Think about the ways you can encourage these habits of the mind in your own students.

Our project was guided by the vision and research of Dr. Judith Langer, the Director of the National Center on English 8 Learning and Achievement, State University of New York — Albany. Dr. Langer has spent the bulk of her career exploring what goes on in the minds of all readers as they engage with a text, in order to help teachers be more successful in their work. She has found that effective readers have specific habits of the mind that help them be successful in negotiating literature. She calls these habits envisionment building. Envisionment building is a multi-part process in which readers use intuition, background experiences, and accumulated knowledge to construct meaning.

As they read, envisionment builders adopt different stances in relationship to the text. They enter, move around, reflect upon, and objectify the text and their experience with it to form a constantly evolving envisionment of the world of the text and its relation to their own world as readers and thinkers.

About the Contributors:
Advisory Board | Reader's Biographies | Credits



© Annenberg Foundation 2017. All rights reserved. Legal Policy