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Engaging Children in Literacy Talk about Texts in Early Grade Classrooms Pauline Harris © 2008 Pauline Harris ©

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Presentation on theme: "Engaging Children in Literacy Talk about Texts in Early Grade Classrooms Pauline Harris © 2008 Pauline Harris ©"— Presentation transcript:

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2 Engaging Children in Literacy Talk about Texts in Early Grade Classrooms Pauline Harris © 2008 Pauline Harris © 2008

3 Contact Information Dr Pauline Harris is Associate Professor of Language and Literacy and Early Childhood Education at the University of Wollongong in Australia (www.uow.edu.au). She can be contacted as follows:www.uow.edu.au Dr Pauline Harris Faculty of Education University of Wollongong Wollongong NSW Australia Paulines University webpage is located at: sessionid=148241B398486FE683E3F0C1AB75E0FA?id=3629&group=9 Dr Pauline Harris is Associate Professor of Language and Literacy and Early Childhood Education at the University of Wollongong in Australia (www.uow.edu.au). She can be contacted as follows:www.uow.edu.au Dr Pauline Harris Faculty of Education University of Wollongong Wollongong NSW Australia Paulines University webpage is located at: sessionid=148241B398486FE683E3F0C1AB75E0FA?id=3629&group=9

4 Project Details »A three year study funded by the Australian Research Council (ARC Large Grant) »Chief Investigators: Pauline Harris, Jillian Trezise & Bill Winser »Relevant publications further detailing this study: Harris, P. J., Trezise, J. M. & Winser, W. (2002). Is the story on my face?: Intertextural Conflicts during Teacher-Class Interactions around Texts in Early Grade Classrooms. Research in the Teaching of English, 37 (1), Harris, P. J., Trezise, J. M. & Winser, W. (2004). Where is the story?:Intertextual reflections on literary research and practices in the early school years. Research in the Teaching of English, 38 (3), »A three year study funded by the Australian Research Council (ARC Large Grant) »Chief Investigators: Pauline Harris, Jillian Trezise & Bill Winser »Relevant publications further detailing this study: Harris, P. J., Trezise, J. M. & Winser, W. (2002). Is the story on my face?: Intertextural Conflicts during Teacher-Class Interactions around Texts in Early Grade Classrooms. Research in the Teaching of English, 37 (1), Harris, P. J., Trezise, J. M. & Winser, W. (2004). Where is the story?:Intertextual reflections on literary research and practices in the early school years. Research in the Teaching of English, 38 (3),

5 Uncle Zell

6 Objectives »To identify different kinds of connections that teachers and children make when talking about texts. »To demonstrate the relevance of these connections to childrens literacy understandings and processes. »To develop interactional strategies for enhancing engagement with these connections in teacher-class talk around texts. »To identify different kinds of connections that teachers and children make when talking about texts. »To demonstrate the relevance of these connections to childrens literacy understandings and processes. »To develop interactional strategies for enhancing engagement with these connections in teacher-class talk around texts.

7 Significance »Making connections is commonplace Part and parcel of being a member of a literate community of practice in early grade classrooms »Making connections fosters reader comprehension and engagement »Making connections builds bridges among childrens school and out-of-school experiences (Bloome & Egan-Robertson, 1993; Cairney, 1990, 1992; Hartman, 1995; Kaser & Short, 1998; Lemke, 1990; Oyler & Barry, 1996; Pantaleo, 2005; Roache-Jamieson, 2005; Sipe, 1993, 2000; 2001) »Making connections is commonplace Part and parcel of being a member of a literate community of practice in early grade classrooms »Making connections fosters reader comprehension and engagement »Making connections builds bridges among childrens school and out-of-school experiences (Bloome & Egan-Robertson, 1993; Cairney, 1990, 1992; Hartman, 1995; Kaser & Short, 1998; Lemke, 1990; Oyler & Barry, 1996; Pantaleo, 2005; Roache-Jamieson, 2005; Sipe, 1993, 2000; 2001)

8 Making connections Transtextual work (after Genette, 1992, 1997, 1998)

9 Evidence Base The Study and its Theoretical Framework

10 Conceptual Frame: Theories of intertextuality and transtextuality to understand connections (Genette, 1992, 1997, 1998; Kristeva, 1984) Constructionist theories of reading to identify implications of connections for reading (Bransford, Barclay & Franks, 1972; Kintsch & van Dijk, 1978; Ruddell & Unrau, 2004). Evidence base: Observational & interactional transcripts Teachers Interviews Childrens Interviews Artefacts

11 Classroom Orientation Unstructured InterviewsObservational Fieldnotes Purposive Sampling Teacher-Class Interactions Around Texts and Related Activities Audiotape Transcripts Observational Fieldnotes Ongoing Interviews Text and work samples Emergent Categories of Types of Connections and their Associated Consequences, Challenges and Conflicts Emergent Analysis and Triangulation Across Data Types and Sources

12 Genettes Categories of Transtextuality: Mapping onto Emergent Categories of Type And Collapsing Categories Sub-categorical Analysis of Type According to Placement, Connection, Dimensions, Processes and Understandings Manifestation and Operationalisation of Transtextuality in Teacher-Class Interactions Around Texts Categorical Analysis of How Transtextuality was Operationalised Interactional Strategies Intervening Conditions ConsequencesPower Structures & Relations

13 Intertextuality »Texts as mosaics (Kristeva, 1984) »Texts read in light of other texts (Barthes, 1988) »No text has a single correct reading »Children bring their own experiences »Texts as mosaics (Kristeva, 1984) »Texts read in light of other texts (Barthes, 1988) »No text has a single correct reading »Children bring their own experiences I have a giant book at home, its not The Hungry Giant. It climbed up this tree, a man cut it down. The tree fell on the man and it fell on the fence flat to the ground. And in The Hungry Giant, he eats all his, he eats his house! [laughing] (Matthew, Kinder, 5 years)

14 Transtextuality IntratextualityConnections inside a text ParatextualityConnections between a text and its presentation features IntertextualityConnections across texts ArchitextualityConnections between a text and broader groups of texts such as genres HypotextualityConnections between a text and other texts on which it is based but transforms

15 Different Kinds of Connections and their Literacy Processes & Understandings

16 IT: Connections inside texts Sub-categories »IT/WP Links between words and pictures in a text »IT/CS Links between content and structure in a text »IT/PP Links between stages or parts in a text Transtextual category »Intratextuality Links among elements within a text

17 For example, exploring story structure In a later lesson, the teacher's opening comment drew children's attention to the first part of a narrative (orientation) and its function: T:In the beginning of the story we learnt about who the story was meant to be about, didn't we? And it was going to be about...? All:Farmyard cat. T:So that, the beginning part of the story is called the what? E:Orientation. T:Orientation. Good. Then what was the next part of the story, E.? All these things started to happen. E:Well they disturbed the... T:They disturbed the......bull, they disturbed the... M:Nanny goat. E:And then they disturbed the horse. T:OK, that part of the story is called what? Patrick. P:The complication.

18 When making intratextual connections, focus is placed inside the text where… »Teachers and children engage in processes of Analyzing meaning Building meaning Reviewing meaning. »Teachers and children engage in processes of Analyzing meaning Building meaning Reviewing meaning. »At play are childrens understandings about Elements that make up texts Modes through which texts are presented Structures that organize texts.

19 TS: Connections between a text and its presentation Sub-categories »TS/FC Links between text and its front cover »TS/BC Links between text and its back cover »TS/TP Links between a text and title page »TS/D Links between a text and its dedication »TS/TC Links between a text and its table of contents »TS/AI Links between a text and identification of its author or illustrator »TS/P Links between a text and its publisher Transtextual category »Paratextuality Links between a text and its artifice (presentation)

20 For example, exploring a title page T. turns to page immediately before the title page, showing characters walking in line. T:Where do you think theyre going to? Joh:On an excursion. T:How has the teacher organized them? Tam:Tell them to get their hats and bags…and get in line. T:Why do you think the teacher does that? Ali: So they dont get lost. T. points to names labelling the characters on this same page:. T:Weve got the names of people [reads each name aloud]. Teacher come the the last label, me, that points to a child. T:[reading] Me. Ste:That means the person, you… It said me. It must be you. Lac: Um, me must be a person that says…the story. Teacher confirms Lachlans response.

21 When making paratextual connections, focus is placed between the text and its presentation where… »Teachers and children engage in processes of Anticipating text Predicting text genre Establishing initial expectations Framing the reading task at hand. »Teachers and children engage in processes of Anticipating text Predicting text genre Establishing initial expectations Framing the reading task at hand. »At play are childrens understandings about Relevance of a texts presentation to reader engagement Ways in which presentation mediates between reader & text Features that make up a texts presentation.

22 TT: Connections between texts Sub-categories »TT/T Links between one text and other specific texts »TT/E Links between a text and personal experience »TT/A Links between a text and classroom activity Transtextual category »Intertextuality Links across texts, personal experiences and classroom activities

23 For example, Whats a tram? T:Whats a tram? Jac:Um a trailer. T:A trailer? Jac:Um, a tractor. T:A tractor? I have brainwashed you about farm words, havent I? … Talk shifts to electric powering of trams to help the tram go. Rho:Its like a cord that goes off onto the wires, but its not. Its not onto a pole or something. Its on to a really metal pole… Cause I went to Melbourne. Pet: Well, Ive been on [a tram] in Perth and you have to catch one two times because we caught one going to T: Somewhere. Pet: Yeah! Like I dont know, then we had to take it back again. … T. re-directs talk and repeats the idea of bringing in a picture of a tram. Rho:I could bring one in with horses. Ste: They used to be pulled by horses Pet:Ive got a London Transport book thats got all the trams in it.

24 When making intertextual connections, focus is placed between texts, where… »Teachers and children engage in processes of Comparing and contrasting perspectives from different texts and experiences Synthesizing meaning Reviewing meaning. »Teachers and children engage in processes of Comparing and contrasting perspectives from different texts and experiences Synthesizing meaning Reviewing meaning. »At play are childrens understandings about The permeable nature of texts Relationships among texts Impact of these networks on reader interpretation.

25 BBT: Connections with broader bodies of texts Sub-categories »BBT/G Links between text and genre »BBT/GG Links among genres »BBT/S Links between text and series »BBT/C Links between text and corpus »BBT/CT Links between text and character types Transtextual category »Architextuality Links to broader bodies of texts such as genres, series, corpuses and archetypes

26 For example, Like a rock-a-bye A Kindergarten teacher had read Megs Eggs (Nicoll & Pienkowski, 1975) aloud to the class. This picture book presents a comic-style story of a witch whose spells go hilariously wrong. The teacher revisited one of Megs spells with the intention of making links between the spell and procedural text genre: T: Listen to this. [Reading]Lizards and newts, Three loud hoots, Green frogs legs, Three big eggs. What does that sound like? Cat: Like a rock-a-bye. T:It doesnt sound like anything that would put me to sleep. Edw:Its a spell. T:Good boy, its a spell.

27 When making architextual connections, focus is paced between texts and genres, where… »Teachers and children engage in processes of Framing purpose of the reading task and text at hand Using the structure of a text to guide and anticipate its reading Classifying texts. »Teachers and children engage in processes of Framing purpose of the reading task and text at hand Using the structure of a text to guide and anticipate its reading Classifying texts. »At play are childrens understandings about Text genres Associations of texts with genres Purposes, schematic structures and language features of text genres.

28 TC: Connections between a text and other texts it transforms Sub-categories »TC/T Links between a text and another text that is based on but transforms the former text »TC/A Links between a text and an activity that is based on but transforms the former text »TC/C Links between a text and another text composed by the class that transforms the former text Transtextual category »Hypotextuality Links between a text and other texts it transforms

29 For example… Engagement with retellings of traditional tales such as The Little Red Hen (implicit) Engagement with parodies such as Our Excursion (implicit) Comparing video/film and print versions of a particular text, such as Babe Class re-enactments of shared texts, such as a re-enactment of The Little Red Hen which changed the text from a written/visual story with characters and the children as readers, into a drama with children as actors and storytellers

30 When making architextual connections, focus is placed between a text and other texts it transforms, where… »Teachers and children engage in processes of Identifying changes in texts Reflecting on effect of specific changes to texts Exploring generic changes such as character archetypes and schematic structures. Building bridges to new textual insights. »Teachers and children engage in processes of Identifying changes in texts Reflecting on effect of specific changes to texts Exploring generic changes such as character archetypes and schematic structures. Building bridges to new textual insights. »At play are childrens understandings about How texts transform other texts and genres Changeable nature of texts and new insights into meaning and texts arising from this transformation.

31 Challenges of Transtextual Work In Class Interactions Around Texts

32 Whats a report? NSW English K-6 Syllabus as factual texts that present information about a certain topic You get one at the end of every school year Like if she did something and um, and you report it to the other person and tell it to the other person It's like um, if you found something like treasure, or something on the ground or maybe some jewels or something or other...[stops] When you've invented something When you report that means that something happened and you have to report to somebody like to a police station Newspaper reports Weather reports Just say, um, T. was not behaving on the bus and I was sitting in the seat opposite and I reported him to the Principal

33 Access in Transtextual Work To texts To connections made among texts To language used to talk about connections To interpretations of connections and their relevance To texts To connections made among texts To language used to talk about connections To interpretations of connections and their relevance

34 What are the rules governing relevance of connections and do children have access to these rules? How can children discern the nature and intent behind the question if these are not made explicit to them? What are the rules governing relevance of connections and do children have access to these rules? How can children discern the nature and intent behind the question if these are not made explicit to them? Key Access Issues for Children

35 When is a fox a predator and when is it a villain? T: Stories sometime have bad characters in them, people who do bad things. In movies we call them baddies but whats the correct word? M: Predators. T: Thats a big word. What does that mean? M: Like, um, like an animal eats another animal, like a fox eats a hen. T: Where did you hear that before? M: From Hattie and the Fox. T: Theyre called villains. Villains dont usually win, except we did have one story where the villain won. T: Stories sometime have bad characters in them, people who do bad things. In movies we call them baddies but whats the correct word? M: Predators. T: Thats a big word. What does that mean? M: Like, um, like an animal eats another animal, like a fox eats a hen. T: Where did you hear that before? M: From Hattie and the Fox. T: Theyre called villains. Villains dont usually win, except we did have one story where the villain won. Teachers narrative frame Teachers quest for technical term appropriate to narrative frame Child shifts teachers frame to a factual one Childs recall of a particular narrative text that links with his example - suggests he took that as referring to his example Teachers brief deviation to clarify Childs generic definition matching factual frame Childs example Ambiguity of that Teacher takes control of framing focus

36 Access to Resources »Children draw on their resources to do what they perceive is required and valued Funds of knowledge (Moll and Gonzalez, 1994) Cultural capital (Bourdieu & Passeron, 1990) »These resources are the raw materials of transtextual work in classrooms »Children draw on their resources to do what they perceive is required and valued Funds of knowledge (Moll and Gonzalez, 1994) Cultural capital (Bourdieu & Passeron, 1990) »These resources are the raw materials of transtextual work in classrooms

37 Capitalising on childrens resources »Balance between literacy work and identity work Creating access to myriad connections that see children readily engage in the conversation while Guiding access to those particular texts and connections that serve the instructional plan How might teachers do this without marginalizing childrens participation or limiting their access? »Balance between literacy work and identity work Creating access to myriad connections that see children readily engage in the conversation while Guiding access to those particular texts and connections that serve the instructional plan How might teachers do this without marginalizing childrens participation or limiting their access?

38 Participation Reading the Text and Reading the Community Reading the Text and Reading the Community

39 A first grade teacher was guiding the class through a choral reading of a big book called The Farmyard Cat. At one point, she re-directed Steven, who she saw was losing attention: T: Steven, I dont really think you can see from there because you were reading and looking at me. Is the story on my face? S:I was looking with one eye at you and one eye at the book.

40 Participation »Engaging with literacy processes and understandings »Learning to become a literate member of a community of practice »Engaging with literacy processes and understandings »Learning to become a literate member of a community of practice

41 Challenges to Participation »Connections unfold in intricate ways Cf. neat categories of transtextual work Fleeting (e.g., Henny Penny) Barely noticed (e.g., Thats not the same as my video) Sustained discussion (e.g., inferring characters motives from word/picture relationships) »Connections shift in the course of a lesson »Connections unfold in intricate ways Cf. neat categories of transtextual work Fleeting (e.g., Henny Penny) Barely noticed (e.g., Thats not the same as my video) Sustained discussion (e.g., inferring characters motives from word/picture relationships) »Connections shift in the course of a lesson

42 Connections between the text & broader bodies of texts TEXT-IN-HAND Connections inside the text Connections between the text & its surrounds Connections between the text and other texts & experiences Connections between the text and other texts, genres, discourses and archetypes that it transforms TEACHER CHILD

43 T:What kinds of stories usually start with once upon a time? C1:Three Little Pigs. T:Listen to this again. What kinds of stories, not, I didnt say, tell me a story. What are all the stories that begin with once upon a time. C2:Fairy tale. Teachers frame of reference is fairy tale genre (an architextual connection) Childs frame of reference is a particular fairy tale (an intertextual connection) Clarifying the generic frame and the way it is referred to Preferred frame is mobilised

44 Challenges to Participation »Familiarity with the connection Is everyone on the same page? »Threads of continuity that waver (e.g., Theres been a lot of bus crashes lately) »Timing and relevance (e.g., My Dad owned a farm once…) » Childrens condensed utterances such as Duckville Are/can these contributions be understood and more clearly explored? …/ »Familiarity with the connection Is everyone on the same page? »Threads of continuity that waver (e.g., Theres been a lot of bus crashes lately) »Timing and relevance (e.g., My Dad owned a farm once…) » Childrens condensed utterances such as Duckville Are/can these contributions be understood and more clearly explored? …/

45 A levelled reader… a story about families… A family tree: father… mother… aunt… uncle… niece… nephew Duckville (Harris & Trezise, 2002)

46 Strategies For Supporting Childrens Engagement in Transtextual Work Around Texts

47 How might teachers find a balance between their instructional plan and mandatory outcomes and the assurance that learning occurs for all children in ways that are meaningful and inclusive?

48 Negotiation »Working with diversity. »Expressing, clarifying, elaborating, extending, challenging and responding to connections and interpretations. »Working with diversity. »Expressing, clarifying, elaborating, extending, challenging and responding to connections and interpretations.

49 Revisiting Villains versus Predators »Did children understand the connections and different frames that came into view? »Did they understand why predators was not taken up in this context? »Did they appreciate why a fox in a story might be called a villain but in a factual piece be called a predator? »Did children understand the connections and different frames that came into view? »Did they understand why predators was not taken up in this context? »Did they appreciate why a fox in a story might be called a villain but in a factual piece be called a predator?

50 »Clarifying instructional plans and goals with children »Fostering mutual awareness of the instructional intent behind a teachers transtextual questions, prompts, directives and comments »Being clear, consistent and contingent (McNaughton, 2002) »Clarifying instructional plans and goals with children »Fostering mutual awareness of the instructional intent behind a teachers transtextual questions, prompts, directives and comments »Being clear, consistent and contingent (McNaughton, 2002) Supporting Childrens Understanding of Instructional Focus

51 Being explicit »Criteria for relevance To the text-in-hand To other texts and experiences they have encountered To the teachers instructional plan »Criteria for relevance To the text-in-hand To other texts and experiences they have encountered To the teachers instructional plan

52 Approaching Children as Informants »Finding out childrens relevant knowledge and experiences and building on these resources »Providing time, opportunity and support for children to present, elaborate and explain their ideas and lines of thinking »Providing opportunities for children to respond to one anothers connection and enhance opportunities for recognition, acknowledgment and clarification of childrens lines of thinking. »Finding out childrens relevant knowledge and experiences and building on these resources »Providing time, opportunity and support for children to present, elaborate and explain their ideas and lines of thinking »Providing opportunities for children to respond to one anothers connection and enhance opportunities for recognition, acknowledgment and clarification of childrens lines of thinking.

53 Tuning into How Children Make Connections »Tuning in to both what children mean and how they mean How children notice and express connections How children build a sense of continuity from one moment to the next in and across lessons »Exploring what lies beneath childrens utterances »Tuning in to both what children mean and how they mean How children notice and express connections How children build a sense of continuity from one moment to the next in and across lessons »Exploring what lies beneath childrens utterances

54 Creating Shared Experiences »Using shared experience as a base for creating: Common connections Shared purposes Mutually accessible points and frames of reference. »Using shared experience as a base for creating: Common connections Shared purposes Mutually accessible points and frames of reference.

55 Fostering Childrens Awareness of Connectedness »Carefully planning for sustained and orchestrated engagement with texts, experiences and situations that interconnect

56 Engaging in Dialogic Interactions Principle (Alexander, 2006) Application to Transtextual Work in Classrooms COLLECTIVEChildren and teachers engage in the work together (as group or class, not in isolation), with shared access to instructional plan. RECIPROCALChildren and teachers listen to each other, share, explore and clarify connections and consider alternative view points. CUMULATIVEChildren and teachers build on their own and each others connections and chain them into coherent & relevant lines of thinking & meaning. SUPPORTIVEChildren articulate their ideas guided by explicit criteria of relevance and significance, and help each other to reach common understandings.

57 Aligning Frames of Reference »Aligning a teachers frames with childrens frames »Ensuring the frame is accessible to children, makes sense to them and mobilizes desired connections to achieve planned objectives »Remaining aware of other texts that shift frames. »Aligning a teachers frames with childrens frames »Ensuring the frame is accessible to children, makes sense to them and mobilizes desired connections to achieve planned objectives »Remaining aware of other texts that shift frames.

58 In closing Basil

59 Wheres Basil? A teacher sat down with his first grade to share a picturebook narrative called Our Excursion by Walker and Cox (1995). The book was especially pertinent, for the next day the class was going on an excursion to a farm. The teacher made explicit links to the excursion: T: When I was planning today, I was looking for a book that might have something to do with our excursion and I found this book and its called…? Chn: [chorusing] Our excursion. The teacher confirmed its title. Next, he gazed to the front cover that portrayed children and an adult. T:Who do you think these people are? Eric? Eri:The teacher and the children? T:Yeah, the teacher and children, who are doing--. Eri:[interrupting the teacher] Basil.

60 In search of Basil and from whence he comes… And Duckville, rock-a-byes and Uncle Zell and to where they might lead…


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