Interpreting texts can lead readers on journeys that change their lives forever. However, many middle school students, unused to looking between the lines or to building or amending their readings of a text, need your guidance as they learn to develop and discuss their own interpretations. In this smart and lively guide, veteran middle-school teacher Donna Santman shows you how to teach readers the skills and strategies of comprehension and interpretation within the framework of a reading workshop.

Shades of Meaning takes you through Santman’s own rigorous workshop, describing the teaching that allows students to stretch and empower their imaginations. Santman offers guidance in: creating curriculum and lessons that teach habits of mind that support interpretation, like naming the ideas hiding in texts and thinking about perspectives from which to analyze those ideas using reading workshop structures to teach students to practice articulating their thoughts, exploring others’ ideas, and interpreting texts assessing students’ interpretive skills and moving them toward deeper and more meaningful interpretations using standards-based rubrics and checklists to communicate expectations and track students’ progress. With Donna Santman’s assistance, you can teach readers the interpretive skills they need to help them find a foothold in their ever-changing world; with Shades of Meaning, you can teach readers ways to understand, interpret, and speak back to the texts in their lives.

Foreword by Randy Bomer