A Division of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Heinemann

A Quick Guide to Teaching Reading Through Fantasy Novels, 5-8

Mary Ehrenworth, Teachers College Reading and Writing Project, Columbia University, Edited by Lucy Calkins, Teachers College Reading and Writing Project, Columbia University

SeriesThis product is part of the series: The Workshop Help Desk Series

ISBN 978-0-325-04281-7 / 0-325-04281-0 / 2011 / 104pp / Paperback
Imprint: FirstHand
Availability: In Stock
Grade Level: 5th - 8th
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Supporting dreams of fabulous escape and transformation, fantasy literature can be especially compelling for adolescents. Mary Ehrenworth offers a unit of study that harnesses the power of this expansive and poignant genre to lure even reluctant readers into reading epic novels with passion and stamina.

Adhering to reading workshop principles and the classic session architecture honed by Lucy Calkins in the Units of Study series, this unit of study begins by launching the kids into fantasy book clubs that foster literary conversations. After exploring ways to read with deep comprehension and to synthesize across pages, students learn to develop thematic understandings. During the course of this unit, students likewise explore where their novels fit within the larger literary tradition. Throughout the unit, students read several books—tackling at least one series, and sometimes moving across series. (This unit of study is drawn from Constructing Curriculum in the Units of Study for Teaching Reading series.)

A Quick Guide to Teaching Reading Through Fantasy Novels is part of the Workshop Help Desk series.

About the Workshop Help Desk series
The Workshop Help Desk series is designed for teachers who believe in workshop teaching and who have already rolled up their sleeves enough to have encountered the predictable challenges. If you’ve struggled to get around quickly enough to help all your students, if you’ve wondered how to tweak your teaching to make it more effective and lasting, if you’ve needed to adapt your teaching for English learners, if you’ve struggled to teach grammar or nonfiction writing or test prep…if you’ve faced these and other specific, pressing challenges, then this series is for you. Provided in a compact 5" x 7" format, the Workshop Help Desk series offers pocket-sized professional development. 

For a comprehensive overview of the Units of Study for Teaching Writing series, including sample minilessons, sample videos, overview presentations, frequently asked questions, and information on the companion principal’s guide and the Workshop Help Desk series visit unitsofstudy.com. 


INTRODUCTION: A Note on Why to Read Fantasy, and What to Expect in this Unit

Part One: Constructing, Navigating, and Managing Other Worlds
Session I: Analyzing the Setting for Its Physical and Psychological Implications
Session II: Understanding Cuing Systems in Complex Novels: Learning Alongside the Main Character
Session III: Disentangling Complicated Narratives
Session IV: Reading Notebooks Deepen Our Engagement and Analytical Thinking: Preparing for Partner Conversations and Book Clubs

Part Two: It’s About More Than Dwarves and Elves
Session V: Here Be Dragons: Thinking Metaphorically About the Problems Characters Struggle With
Session VI: What’s This Story Really About? Thinking About Themes and Life Lessons
Session VII: There’s No Such Thing as True Good or Evil: Characters Are Not Usually All One Way

Part Three: Literary Traditions
Session VIII: Archetypes, Quest Structures, and Thematic Patterns
Session IX: Reading Across Texts with Critical Lenses: Representation, Stereotypes, and Gender Norms
Session X: Our Expertise in this Literary Tradition to Our Reading Plans: What’s Next for Ourselves as Readers?


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