TEKS Talk - SLA Response image

Knowledge and Skills Statement

Response skills: listening, speaking, reading, writing, and thinking using multiple texts. The student responds to an increasingly challenging variety of sources that are read, heard, or viewed.

Group students into book clubs that are assigned to read a text based on each group’s interests. Have each group read the text in small increments independently and then meet to discuss the text. During group discussions, task students with explaining the explicit or implicit meaning of the text. Observe group discussions and review students’ notebooks to document their understanding of text meaning.

Further Explanation

This activity requires students to ask questions, make connections, and talk about characters and themes. During book-club conversations, students must consider other points of view and share their points of view in order to help confirm their own connections and inferences. Talking about texts in small peer groups can help build students’ confidence in performing this skill.

Students should be provided opportunities to dialogue about the connections between specific ideas stated in or implied by a text and how those ideas contribute to meaning. Hearing other points of view and sharing their own point of view can help students confirm connections and inferences, consider the complexities of an idea, or determine if they misinterpreted information and need to revisit the text to establish a better understanding. If students truly understand the meaning of the text, they should be able to determine which parts of the text express ideas that convey this meaning and then share this in conversations or convey it in written responses.


Borsheim-Black, C., Macaluso, M., & Petrone, R. (2014). Critical literature pedagogy: Teaching canonical literature for critical literacy. Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy. 58(2), 123–133. doi: 10.1002/jaal.323

Summary: In this article, the reader is introduced to a framework that can be used to develop critical thinkers and writers. Critical literacy allows students to develop skills and dispositions to understand, question, and critique texts. Using a standard literary text, teachers can employ this instructional approach to spark the interests and engage students in relevant text taken from their personal experiences, ideologies and society. A demonstration and explanation of the framework is provided. Critical literacy draws special attention to how issues of power, normativity, and representation, opportunities for equity are framed texts. Students learn how to argue against a position, to include providing supporting evidence or stories. The article includes a discussion on language and its use in texts.