Lesson Plan Block 4


Block 4 (One to two lesson plans)
Learning Targets: Students will be able to:

·      Respond to a long literary text, citing evidence from the novel that supports conclusions drawn from details.

·      Analyze a long literary text and for both denotative and connotative meanings.   Analyze the impact of the author’s textual choices in creating an overall effect.

·      Consider social issues raised by people’s perceptions of disability.

Common Core Standards Alignment: CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.11-12.1

Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text, including determining where the text leaves matters uncertain.


Determine two or more themes or central ideas of a text and analyze their development over the course of the text, including how they interact and build on one another to produce a complex account; provide an objective summary of the text.


Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in the text, including figurative and connotative meanings; analyze the impact of specific word choices on meaning and tone, including words with multiple meanings or language that is particularly fresh, engaging, or beautiful. (Include Shakespeare as well as other authors.)


Analyze how an author’s choices concerning how to structure specific parts of a text (e.g., the choice of where to begin or end a story, the choice to provide a comedic or tragic resolution) contribute to its overall structure and meaning as well as its aesthetic impact.


Analyze a case in which grasping a point of view requires distinguishing what is directly stated in a text from what is really meant (e.g., satire, sarcasm, irony, or understatement).




Writing prompt.

·      Have students get out their journals. The writing prompt is “Discuss the character of Karen Nieto.** Explain how she views and interprets the world differently from other characters in the book. Use details from the book to support your conclusions.”

·      Have students discuss what they wrote about with someone sitting near them.

·      Engage the class in a discussion of Karen’s character. Create a mind map on the board that shows how her various characteristics are related.

Scaffolded learning activities: CLOSE READING

·      Depending on your students’ grade level and whether or not this is something you’ve done before, students may need a lot of support for this exercise or may be completely independent. If you’ve never had them do a close reading before, I recommend that you model the process using a docu-cam or overhead before you have them do it on their own.

·      Pass out copies of key passages from the book, with “begin here” and “end here” notes marked clearly with arrows.

·      Instruct students to read through the passage silently and then get in groups and read it again out loud. Have them use highlighters, pens, or pencils to pencils to underline/highlight important words or phrases in the passage and to make notes in the margin about the significance of those words.

·      When they’re finished with annotations, have them jot down some key concepts that are addressed in the passage. Have them get into small groups and discuss the overall meaning of the passage and how the various details help create that meaning.


·      This is one of my favorite activities, because all students are participating and “dialoging” with each other simultaneously…but the classroom is totally quiet! Divide students into groups of four. Pass out a stack of 4 different statements or questions to each group. (That means that each student in the group gets a different statement/question; that means that there will be just one statement at the top of each page. I usually fill the rest of the page with lines for students to write on.) These can be generated by you, the teacher, or you can have the class generate them.   If you’ve never done a write-around, I recommend that you create the statements/questions. That will give students an understanding of how the activity functions and what types of statements will be most generative.   Here are some sample statements that would work for a write-around for Me, Who Dove Into the Heart of the World.

1)   Everything that Karen’s Aunt Isabelle does for Karen is helpful.

2)   What is Karen’s relationship to the animal world?

3)   Karen’s disability is a gift.

4)   How would the novel change if it were written from a different character’s point of view?

·      Have them write a response to the statement or answer the question. Tell them that they can feel free to agree, disagree, challenge, speculate, qualify, question, etc. Give them two or three minutes to do this, and encourage them to write freely and reactively, not over-thinking responses.

·      Then when you call “time,” have them pass their sheets to the person on their left.   So now they have a new statement AND another student’s response. They can either respond to the original statement, or they can respond to the other student’s response. It’s kind of like a Facebook post with comments; this genre will feel somewhat familiar to them.

·      Rotate two more times, allowing more time with each rotation for students to read ALL of their classmates’ comments before writing their own.

·      Have them rotate one more time so they get their original papers back. Have them read all of the comments that their classmates wrote and identify one particularly interesting or insightful comment to share with the group.

·      Invite them to read aloud to their small groups the comment they chose.

·      Have a whole-class discussion in which you invite each group to share with the whole class an interesting comment, question, or insight generated by the activity.

If there is extra time in class or if students struggle to accomplish the reading at home, you could give them some or all of class time to read.

Independent application: Read Me, chapters 8-10
Materials: Journals for students. Copies of a few different key passages from Me (or your chosen novel) that students can mark up.   Statement sheets for the write-around.
Accessibility: ·      The “timed” element of the write-around may prove stressful or frustrating with students who have anxiety, who are English language learners, or who learning disabilities. If so, consider telling them that you are going to give them a certain amount of time to write, that you will walk around the classroom, and when you notice that most people are finishing up, you will ask them if one more minute is okay.

*Discussions may be adapted to the form best suited for your students. You could make this discussion a “think-pair-share,” a whole class discussion, or a small group discussion. If it is a whole-class discussion, consider allowing students to participate by writing their thoughts on notecards if they would rather not speak aloud in front of all the other students.

**Or a character who is central to the novel you’ve chosen to study.

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