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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The Stances in Action


Key Points

Learning Objectives

Background Reading

Homework Assignment

Classroom Connection

Ongoing Activity
Additional Reading

Envisionment Building Stance Wheel Sample Questions

Being Out and Stepping Into an Envisionment

  • What is the title and what does it suggest? Can I make any predictions based on the title?
  • Who is the author and what do I already know about their writing? What can I expect from this author?
  • What does the book jacket suggest about the story? What predictions can I make about the story based on the illustrations or the teaser on the cover?
  • Who are the characters and what are they like? What can I expect from them in the future?
  • What time period does this take place? What do I already know about this era that can inform my understanding?
  • What is the setting and how is this going to impact the piece?
  • What is the organization of this piece and what does this tell me about the text?
  • What genre is this text and how does that impact what I can expect to encounter in the piece?
  • How is this story similar to something I have already experienced?
  • What do I think may happen next? What do I think the piece may be about?

    Being In and Moving Through an Envisionment

  • What isn't being told? What would you like to still 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?

    Stepping Out and Rethinking What One Knows
  • How might I react if I were in a similar situation as the character in the text? Was I ever in a similar situation? Do I know anyone who was?
  • What can I learn from the situation in this text?
  • Why did I feel a certain way or act a certain way when I found myself in a situation similar to the one in the text?
  • What were my choices? Did I make the best ones?
  • How else could I have handled it? What should I do now?
  • What did I gain from that decision? Was it the right one?
  • How could I act if I wanted to become a more ______ person?

    Stepping Out and Objectifying the Experience

  • Are there any other texts that I have read that can inform my understanding of this piece?
  • Why did the author choose that particular phrase, style, or organizational feature?
  • How does the title relate to the construct of the story?
  • How does the language and voice affect my understanding of the text?
  • How does the author's voice contrast with my own perspective?
  • Why did some of the word choices affect me so deeply?
  • How can my understanding of literary elements (plot, setting, theme, characterization, and so forth) inform my envisionment?
  • How would the piece differ if written, taken place, or read in another era or culture? How would I see things differently if I were from another culture, another era, or another's perspective?
  • How do other interpretations of the text contrast with my own?
  • What are some other ways I can react to the text? Consider other perspectives, such as critical, feminist, or political.


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