“Well, that was a great minilesson–now what?” For every teacher who has uttered those words, this book is for you. In What Do I Teach Readers Tomorrow? Fiction, educators Gravity Goldberg and Renee Houser take the guesswork out of determining students’ needs with a moment-to-moment guide focused on the decisions that make the biggest impact on readers’ skill development. With the authors’ guidance, you put their next-step resources into action, including • Tips for what to look for and listen for in reading notebook entries and conversations about books • Reproducible Clipboard Notes pages that help you decide whether to reinforce a current type of thinking, teach a new type of thinking, or apply a current type of thinking to a new text • More than 30 lessons on understanding characters and themes, meaningful note taking, strategy use, and more • Reading notebook entries and sample classroom conversations to use as benchmarks • Strategies for deepening the three most prevalent types of thinking about characters: Right-Now Thinking (on the page), Over-Time Thinking (across a picture book, a chapter, or a novel), or Refining Thinking (nuanced connections across text and life themes) • Strategies for deepening the three most useful types of thinking–frames, patterns, lessons learned–about themes • Online video clips of Renee and Gravity teaching, conferring, and “thin slicing” what fiction readers need next With What Do I Teach Readers Tomorrow? Fiction, you learn to trust your instincts and trust your students to provide you with information about the next steps that make the most sense for them. Teaching students to engage with and understand fiction becomes personal, purposeful, and a homegrown process that you can replicate from year to year and student to student.
Chapter 6: Decisions About Interpreting Themes
Decisions About Interpreting Themes
© Andrew Levine
“A novel is not a summary of Its plot but a collection of instances, of luminous specific details that take us in the dIrection of the unsaid and unseen.”
[Page 201]I sometimes think of a theme as something that permeates the air around me when I’m lost in a story. What exactly am I enveloped by? How would I articulate it? In nifty phrases like “conquering fear,” “rooting for the underdog,” “survival,” or “sibling rivalry”? Not quite, but here’s an attempt to capture the process of accruing themes from a narrative: When we read stories, we journey through the plot alongside the characters, whom the author constructed in order to have us consider ideas about ...