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A Literature Companion for Teachers

A Literature Companion for Teachers

by Lorraine McDonald
Publication Date: 12/11/2017
RRP  $44.95 $44.75
The enriched revision and update of Lorraine McDonald's best selling title includes up-to-date Australian Curriculum links and coverage along with new research, a new chapter on evaluating literary texts, and much more. Nonfiction texts have been added as examples of quality mentor texts, along with updated examples where appropriate of narratives and picture books.

"Literature has always been used as reading material in Australian schools and teachers are the interpretive authorities on literary texts; the meaning of text is filtered through the way they talk about it."(p.3)

A Literature Companion for Teachers - 2nd edition continues to provide teachers with the appropriate knowledge for this important role. It is both a revision and an update and remains true to its purpose: a key reference to enhance practising and pre-service teachers’ knowledge about how literature may be responded to, examined, interpreted, analysed, evaluated and created. It presents literary writing as both an ‘art’ and a ‘craft’ and explores aspects of the ‘craft’ of writers’ ‘artistry’. Each chapter presents exemplars of quality literature, with many recent texts included in this edition.

With the 2016 Australian Curriculum: English v.8.3 as a starting point the book offers explanations, interpretations and examples for each of the four Literature strands. The quality literature texts and excerpts within serve as possible mentor texts for teachers. Each chapter offers models for teaching the literary content, and attention to learning literacy is integrated via a range of teaching opportunities. These experiences emphasise co-operative book talk, close reading to seek evidence from the text and creative application of new learning to consolidate knowledge.

Throughout the book there is a consistent focus on how language constructs meanings in texts. This emphasis is now foregrounded as an explicit concept across the Key Ideas introduced in the curriculum. Throughout the book the teaching sequence of identify, describe and explain is promoted. This is intended to ensure students move beyond codebreaking and literal level comprehension to deeper interpretation and analysis. This edition:
  • Chapter 10: Evaluating Literary Texts has been added in response to the Australian Curriculum: English Substrands of Evaluative language, Expressing preferences and evaluating texts, and from Year 6, Analysing and evaluating texts. • Has a clear structure divided across three parts:
    Part One: The art and craft of literary texts; Part Two: Creating literary texts; Part Three: Expanding literary knowledge
  • Presents comprehensive criteria tables and models guided reading discussions.
  • Includes chapters on poetry, picture books and a new revised chapter on digital narratives.
  • For this edition quality literary non-fiction texts have been included • The role of each General Capability when teaching literary texts is discussed
Publication Date:
Primary English Teaching Association, Australia
Country of origin:
2nd Edition
Lorraine McDonald

Lorraine McDonald is an Honorary Fellow, School of Education, Australian Catholic University, Sydney. Lorraine, a former classroom teacher, has taught at tertiary level in Australia, the USA and UK over several decades. Her research examined the role of language in the teaching of literature and changing ways of thinking about language, literature and literacy. She has worked with undergraduate and post-graduate teachers in the fields of Literacy Education, Literature for Children and Young Adults, Linguistics and ESL and continues to work in these fields for several Australian Universities.

Lorraine contributed to the multi-modal and literary teaching/learning experiences within the Global Words online resource as a content editor, was a writer for the Indigenous curriculum resource Yarning Strong and is the second presenter in PETAA's Project 40 set of online videos and papers. Lorraine regularly presents at national and international conferences and delivers a range of professional development workshops around the world.

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