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Berner Readers are Thinking Deeper

Lit Analysis

When it comes to exploring a theme, eighth graders at Berner Middle School delve into multiple reading passages, not only making connections among the different texts but into their own lives as well.

English language arts teacher Debra D’Attolico recently had her students explore the concept of happiness. It began with them reading the short story, “Flowers for Algernon,” by Daniel Kay. They then turned to an article by Dee Marques, “Happiness in Different Cultures.” Students used Pear Deck on their Chromebooks to type responses to different questions about happiness, using the two texts, their own experiences and their knowledge of the world to share their answers. Ms. D’Attolico could view the responses on her own computer and even use them to prompt class discussions.

“We’re trying to get them to think more globally, and look at social issues that are prevalent in young adult literature,” Berner literacy coach Tina Connors said.

She explained that having students explore a topic across multiple literary genres builds more interest and engagement. With greater information at their disposal, they can make stronger comparisons. That critical thinking translates into deeper analysis, Ms. Connors explained, while is then reflected in their writing.