Lesson Plan Block 12

 

Block 12 (One or two lesson plans)
Learning Targets: Students will be able to:

·      Reflect on how their perspectives have changed and grown over the course of this unit in regard to understanding disability, ableism, and identity.

·      Engage in discussion that helps them understand and appreciate other people’s interpretations and reactions to shared literature.

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

Initiate and participate effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grades 11-12 topics, texts, and issues, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.11-12.7

Analyze multiple interpretations of a story, drama, or poem (e.g., recorded or live production of a play or recorded novel or poetry), evaluating how each version interprets the source text.

Hook:

 

 

Writing prompt:

·      Spend a few minutes reflecting on what you’ve learned in this unit about things like disability, ableism, and identity. Focus on a reading (the novel, an essay, or a poem) that had particular meaning for you and explain how it helped shape your perspective.

·      Lead a whole-class discussion of students’ responses. Point out how students’ vocabulary, attitudes, and understanding have been influenced by readings, discussion, and reflection.

Reflective activities: SHARING RESPONSES

·      Let this class period be a celebration of what students have learned. Invite each student to choose and share one of the following:

1.     A paragraph from the literary analysis paper.

2.     A response to a writing prompt.

3.     A paragraph or two from a poetry response paper.

4.     A poem.

Be sure to show affirmation for each student’s contribution.

WRAP-UP

·      Where do we go from here? Now that we know that ableism exists, now that we’ve seen perspectives from people with disabilities, we have a responsibility to make a difference. Invite students to brainstorm ways that they can get involved in making the world a more accessible place for everyone.   Consider various forms of local activism, petitions for changes to be made to the structure of the school, holding a fundraiser for an organization like Autism Self-Advocacy Network.

·      Also help students to consider ways to “read” representations of disability in other literature. If possible, use books you’ve already studied in class this year and do some informal analysis of how disability in presented in those texts.

Materials: Journals for students.
Accessibility: ·      Consider various forms through which students can share either their responses to the writing prompt or their poetry responses: reading from index cards, publishing reflections online, and sharing with partners. Some students may show their learning and reflection best through a work of visual art or a poem. This reflective time should be an inclusive, accepting, celebratory space.

*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.

 

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Lesson Plan Block 10

 

Block 10 (One or two lesson plans)
Learning Targets: Students will be able to:

·      Generate helpful, assignment-specific feedback (in regard to argument, evidence, analysis, conventions, organization, and voice) on their peers’ papers.

·      Receive feedback on their papers that jumpstarts the revision process, helping them pinpoint specific strengths and weaknesses in their writing.

Common Core Standards Alignment: CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.11-12.4

Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.11-12.5

Develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach, focusing on addressing what is most significant for a specific purpose and audience. (Editing for conventions should demonstrate command of Language standards 1-3 up to and including grades 11-12 here.)

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.11-12.10

Write routinely over extended time frames (time for research, reflection, and revision) and shorter time frames (a single sitting or a day or two) for a range of tasks, purposes, and audiences.

Hook:

 

 

Writing prompt:

·      Describe what the writing process has been like so far. What do you think are your first draft’s strengths and weaknesses?   What elements would you like to discuss today from your peer review partner?

Scaffolded learning activities: ·      Lots of students (and teachers!) have strong feelings one way or the other about peer writing workshops. For many reasons, I think they are exceptionally helpful, in terms of decentering the classroom, enabling students to look at writing with an objective eye, getting students to talk about their writing in productive ways, etc.   Of course, they can also derail pretty quickly! Framing them well is critical; maybe it requires an extra part of a class period in which you model for students how to provide effective feedback. I also think it’s helpful to get students out of the mentality of merely line-editing each other’s papers. One way you can do this by having students draw lines down the margins of each others’ papers and making a “margins only!” rule.

·      Put students into pairs, have them swap papers, give them time to read and write a few notes in the margins. Then have them write or type personal letters to each other (including “Dear [Name],” and “Sincerely, [Name]” using the language from the assignment sheet as a guide, explaining what was successful and what could be improved for the final draft.

·      Have students discuss with each other the content of their letters.

·      Depending on the dynamics of your classroom, you could have students take each others’ papers home to analyze and then give them a class period to talk about their feedback the next day. However, if you have high absentee rates, this could be problematic. There is also the option of having students provide feedback for each other via Google docs, with comments in the margins.

Independent application: Final draft of literary analysis paper.
Materials: Journals for students.
Accessibility: ·      For students who are easily distracted, a room where some people are trying to read and generate good feedback and other people are excitedly discussing aspects of their papers could be very frustrating. Think about spaces (in the hallway, in the library, a study hall etc.) where certain groups of students could go to be less distracted.

 

Lesson Plan Block 9

 

Block 9 (One or 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.

·      Generate compelling, well-supported interpretations of the overall meaning of a novel.

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.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.11-12.2

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.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.11-12.4

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.)

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.11-12.5

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.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.11-12.6

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).

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.11-12.1

Write arguments to support claims in an analysis of substantive topics or texts, using valid reasoning and relevant and sufficient evidence.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.11-12.1.A

Introduce precise, knowledgeable claim(s), establish the significance of the claim(s), distinguish the claim(s) from alternate or opposing claims, and create an organization that logically sequences claim(s), counterclaims, reasons, and evidence.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.11-12.1.C

Use words, phrases, and clauses as well as varied syntax to link the major sections of the text, create cohesion, and clarify the relationships between claim(s) and reasons, between reasons and evidence, and between claim(s) and counterclaims.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.11-12.1.D

Establish and maintain a formal style and objective tone while attending to the norms and conventions of the discipline in which they are writing.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.11-12.1.E

Provide a concluding statement or section that follows from and supports the argument presented.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.11-12.10

Write routinely over extended time frames (time for research, reflection, and revision) and shorter time frames (a single sitting or a day or two) for a range of tasks, purposes, and audiences.

Hook:

 

 

Writing prompt:

·      What was your overall reaction to the novel, especially to the ending? Would you have written the same ending for Karen’s character?

·      Have the students turn and share their prompts with the person next to them.

Scaffolded learning activities: INSTRUCTION FOR PAPER

·      If you have not already done so, distribute assignment sheets for the literary analysis paper.

·      Depending on the placement of this unit (and therefore, how much writing instruction students have had this year), you may need to spend time explaining the genre of literary analysis, going through the steps of the writing process, modeling, providing samples of effective literary analysis papers to analyze, etc.

ANALYSIS OF NOVEL

·      Assemble students into small groups. You can do this in whatever way works best for your class–numbering students off, having them choose their own groups, having them work with whomever is in closest proximity, etc.

·      Small groups work together to create posters visually depicting the book’s 1) themes, 2) characters, 3) settings 4) plot points, 5) imagery and language. You can assign topics or have groups choose as you see fit.

·      Each poster should have 1) claims the students make about their topic, 2) evidence from the text (at least 3 clipped quotes) that supports the claims, 3) connection from the topic to the meaning of the work as a whole. The poster should visually organize the information in some way. You may want to demonstrate this using another text as a model.

·      Each group presents the poster and then they go up on the walls; students view them as a gallery. This gallery will hopefully act a springboard for great ideas for their papers. Encourage them to copy down in notebooks ideas they find interesting or that spark more ideas.

Independent application: First draft of literary analysis paper.
Materials: Journals for students. Posters and markers.
Accessibility: ·      For mobility-impaired students, there will be issues of access in regard to the “gallery walk” to view student-created posters. Consider allowing students to take pictures with their phones as each group is presenting the posters, and then giving them the option of either taking notes from their phones or walking around the room.

·      The paper itself may present issues of access for students with learning disabilities.   An alternative would be to have students propose to you an idea for a project related to responding to the text (such as a creative, multimodal project). While this would undoubtedly be more complicated for you to grade, it would include a wider range of learning styles. On the other hand, if teaching academic writing is one of the main objectives of your class, providing enough student support through writing labs, tutors, aides, and feedback will be important.

 

Lesson Plan Block 8

 

Block 8 (One lesson plan)
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.

·      Generate compelling, well-supported interpretations of the overall meaning of a novel.

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.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.11-12.2

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.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.11-12.4

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.)

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.11-12.5

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.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.11-12.6

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).

Hook:

 

 

Writing prompt.

·      Before class, post the statements/questions/quotes from today’s fishbowl discussion (described below) around the room.

·      Invite students to move around, find a statement, question, or quote that they find particularly compelling, and write about it for today’s prompt.   This will get students prepared for the discussion and will ensure that everyone has at least one thing to say.

Scaffolded learning activities: NOVEL DISCUSSION

·      Fishbowl discussion. This student-centered discussion of the novel will take up all of the class time today.

·      SET UP: Move the chairs or desks into a big circle. If you have tables, move them against the wall. Put three or four chairs into the center of the room facing each other in a small circle. This is the “fishbowl.”

·      RULES: 1) You can only speak if you are in the fishbowl (this applies to the teacher also).   2) Everyone has to get into the fishbowl once during class. 3) To get into the fishbowl, tap someone on the shoulder who is not in the middle of speaking. That person gets out of the fishbowl, and you take his/her spot. 4) The topic of discussion is whatever statement/question/quote is on the floor in the middle of the fishbowl. 5) Feel free to bring your response to the writing prompt with you to the fishbowl so that you can read your response, if you’d like, when your prompt appears.

·      NOTES: Teacher, this discussion will go awkwardly at first if you’ve never done it before, but students will quickly warm up to it. Initially, the fishbowl speakers will keep looking at you for validation of their input, so try to position yourself where you can’t make eye contact with most of them. Eventually, they will start looking more and more to each other and conversing with each other. When you sense the discussion starting to lag, go to the middle of the fishbowl and change out the topic. I recommend not joining the fishbowl discussion unless something offensive is said or someone is hijacking the discussion. I also recommend not answering their questions about the meaning of the statements/questions/quotes. Let them wrestle with it, give it their own interpretations, and find their own paths through it. If you have a few students who are perhaps over-enthusiastic participants, consider making a rule that, upon exiting the fishbowl, you have to wait three minutes before going back in.

·      STATEMENTS/QUESTIONS/QUOTES Here are some samples to get you started, if your novel is Me. I like having a nice mixture of prompts that invite personal responses and prompts that require more complex skills of literary interpretation. I recommend having 10 discussion prompts.   That is too many for discussion, but that way you’ll be sure not to run out.

1.    Who is the greatest “hero” or worst “villain” in the book? Why?

2.    How do you think the book will end? (IF YOU HAVEN’T READ THE ENDING YET-NO SPOILERS!)

3.    What does Aunt Isabelle mean when she says “you…who didn’t let anyone separate you from Nature…you’re my hope for the human race”? How might this connect to the main theme of the book?

4.    How do personal stories like Karen’s reveal and at the same time conceal an identity?

5.    How is the theme of language developed over the course of the book? How does Karen use language differently from those around her?

6.    What does Karen value? How does Karen value things differently from those around her?

7.    Compare and contrast how Karen’s aunt dies with how Karen’s mom dies.

8.    What assumptions do characters make about Karen in the book that are not true?   What are the consequences of their assumptions?

9.    What are some beautiful/desirable things about Karen’s personality?

10. What might the tuna symbolize?

Independent application: Read Me, chapters 19-21
Materials: Journals for students. Prepared printouts of statements, quotes, or questions from the novel. These should be in pretty large print so that students can see them easily.
Accessibility: ·      Students with impaired mobility will experience difficulty with the fishbowl discussion activity. There are a variety of ways you can provide access for these students. One way is to allow them to remain in place, but call “(name of student in the fishbowl) out!” when they are ready to participate (a means of verbally “tapping” someone on the shoulder to indicate that they would like to take that person’s place in the fishbowl discussion).   That way, they can stay seated while participating. Another student can physically shoulder-tap the mobility-impaired student (so that they are “out” of the discussion) on their to the fishbowl.

·      The fishbowl discussion may present difficulty to students with anxiety, since they are literally the center of everyone’s attention. Allowing students to read from their writing prompt responses may alleviate this anxiety, but you can also consider alternate means of participating, such as filling out an index card and giving it to someone else to read for you in the fishbowl. In order to not single students out who are doing this, you can make it something that everyone does once, so that the discussion alternates freely between spontaneous responses and readings from index cards.

 

Lesson Plan Block 7

 

Block 7 (One to two lesson plans)
Learning Targets: Students will be able to:

·      Respond to poetry, citing evidence from the poem that supports conclusions drawn from details.

·      Use concrete visual or textual evidence to support multiple interpretive claims about a painting and about poems.

·      Put texts into conversation with each other and generate new insights through the comparative analysis.

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

·      Analyze a critical essay, identifying its central argument and connecting it to poetry.

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.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.11-12.2

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.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.11-12.4

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.)

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.11-12.5

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.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.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.

Hook:

 

 

Writing prompt.

·      Before class, have three copies each of Cynthia Hogue’s poems “Green surrounds the mind of summer,” “In a Mute Season” and “Radical Optimism” posted around the room.

·      Have students get out their journals.

·      Invite students to walk around the room and find a single word or short phrase that jumps out at them from one of the poems and use that word or phrase as a springboard for their writing prompt.

·      Have students share what they wrote with a classmate.

Scaffolded learning activities: ESSAY AND POETRY ANALYSIS

Read Cynthia Hogue’s essay “The Creature Within: On Poetry and Dis/ability.” Have three copies of each poem “Green surrounds the mind of summer,” “In a Mute Season” and “Radical Optimism” posted around the room in a gallery walk. Have students walk around the room and journal their reactions to each poem, noting how reactions change each time they re-read a poem.

·      Pass out copies of Cynthia Hogue’s essay “The Creature Within: On Poetry and Dis/ability.”

·      Read the essay silently, aloud to your students, using the “popcorn method” (assuming that all students feel comfortable reading aloud in front of the whole class), or read it aloud in small groups.

·      Discuss* Hogue’s primary argument about illness and how she supports it.

·      Have students walk around the room with their journals and pens in hand and read each poem (because there are 3 copies of each poem, that means they’ll read each poem three times). Have them note particularly how their perceptions of the structure and images of the poems change with multiple readings. For example, they might initially find the box quotes strange, but in the third reading they might start to understand Hogue’s purpose in including them and how they interact with the poem’s primary text.

·      Have them get in groups and work to apply TPCASTT to one of the poems. (By now, students should be familiar with this approach to interpreting poetry, but review as/if needed. See Lesson plan 1 if you would like to review the elements of TPCASTT.)

·      Toward the end of the activity, encourage students to come to a conclusion about the meaning of the poem as a whole.

·      In a large-group discussion, call on three groups—one for each poem—to share their findings with the whole class.

·      NOTE: if you are doing the whole unit and depending on how many class periods you are spending on each block, this might be a good time to distribute the literary analysis assignment sheets and to introduce the paper that will be the summative assessment for this unit.

Independent application: Read Me, chapters 16-18
Materials: Journals for students. Copies of Cynthia Hogue’s essay and 3 copies each of her poems.
Accessibility: ·      Students with impaired mobility will experience difficulty with the “gallery walk” activity that is part of today’s poetry lesson. (On the other hand, a mobile activity will be especially appealing for students with ADHD.) Think through how best to accommodate students with mobility impairments. Should you create a mini-gallery for them within easy reach of their desks? Can you rearrange the classroom furniture so that they can easily move from one poem to the next with their classmates? If they absolutely need to stay seated, make a “seated gallery” option available to all students so that they the mobility-impaired students will not experience the poetry readings alone. That way, most of the students will walk around the room, but a few will stay seated in a cluster. This is meant to be a social, interactive activity in which students quietly discuss with each other the features of the various poems as they are journaling their reactions.

 

Lesson Plan Block 6

 

Block 6 (One to two lesson plans)
Learning Targets: Students will be able to:

·      Respond to poetry, citing evidence from the poem that supports conclusions drawn from details.

·      Use concrete visual or textual evidence to support multiple interpretive claims about a painting and about poems.

·      Put texts into conversation with each other and generate new insights through the comparative analysis.

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

·      Analyze a critical essay, identifying its central argument and connecting it to poetry.

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.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.11-12.2

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.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.11-12.4

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.)

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.11-12.5

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.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.11-12.6

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).

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.11-12.3

Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, well-chosen details, and well-structured event sequences.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.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.

Hook:

 

 

Writing prompt.

·      Have students get out their journals.

·      Project or distribute paper copies of a painting with a lot of detail in it. I like to use Norman Rockwell’s “Breaking Home Ties” in this exercise, but choose artwork that speaks to many members of your community. Have students create two columns in their journals.   At the top of column 1, write “What I See.” At the top of column 2, write “What It Might Mean.” Have them start with column 1 exclusively and write down every little detail they notice about the painting. Make sure they know that this part of the exercise is going to go on quite a bit longer than they think it should! When they think they’ve found every single little detail, encourage them to look again, look closer. The longer they look, the more details will start to emerge. However (and this is very important), they must LIST details without INTERPRETING those details. In other words, for “Home Ties,” they can write “older man” and “younger man,” but not “father and son” because that is an interpretation.  

·      Once they’ve spent an uncomfortably long time listing details, have them start providing interpretations of those details in column two. For the Rockwell painting, they need to address things like, “What is the profession of the men? What are they feeling right now? Where did they likely come from? Where are they likely going? What is the purpose of the dog?” The interpretations should be based upon (and provable by way of) what they saw in column 1.

·      Reinforce the fact that one detail can have a range of possible interpretations; there is no single definitive interpretation.   However, students should learn to support their claims with good evidence from the visual or written text.

·      Invite them to share interpretations with the class.   With each interpretation, continue to ask students, “How do you know?” In other words, encourage them to back up their claims using evidence from the painting.

·      This hook activity helps cultivate some important skills in close reading and interpretation of a visual text. These skills, as you’ll see, are highly transferable to written texts. This activity could easily take up an entire class period, but it can also be done pretty well in 15 minutes. The pacing is up to you.

Scaffolded learning activities: ESSAY READING AND ANALYSIS

·      Pass out copies of Denise Leto’s essay “Oulipo at the Laundromat.”

·      Read the essay silently, aloud to your students, using the “popcorn method” (assuming that all students feel comfortable reading aloud in front of the whole class), or read it aloud in small groups.

·      Discuss* Leto’s primary argument and how she supports it.

·      Have students write about a time when, for one reason or another, it was difficult or impossible for them to speak. Have them explore how they felt in that circumstance.

POETRY READING AND ANALYSIS

·      Have students read, first silently and then aloud in small groups, Denise Leto’s poems “Plaza Series.1” and “The Lost Word Association.”

·      Model for students how to find and interpret details. For example, in the first column, you could write something like “images of movement—‘traveling’ ‘passes’ and ‘walks.’” In the second column, as an interpretation of that dynamic diction, you could write something like “feeling like it’s hard to join the world because people move (or speak) too quickly” or “feeling left out and unnoticed as people pass by.”

·      Have students work in small groups, and give each group a sheet of big paper and some markers. Have them pick a poem to analyze. Then have them draw 2 columns, like they did for the writing prompt, and label the first column “What I notice” and the second “What it might mean.” Have them start by listing important “telling” details they notice in the poem they’ve chosen and list those details in the first column. Then have them write in the second column interpretations of those details.   Remind students that, especially in poetry, a single word or image can have a range of possible meanings.

·      Toward the close of the activity, have them write a single sentence that captures the meaning of the poem as a whole and write it at the top of the page.

Hang the big paper posters around the room and have students circulate and read their classmates’ analyses.

EXPLANATION OF POETRY RESPONSE THAT STUDENTS WILL BE DOING FOR INDEPENDENT APPLICATION

·      Teacher, you have a couple of options here in regard to how you frame the assignment.

1)   You can keep the response informal and have students react to what they notice in the poems, explain how the poems are helping them think in new ways about the subject of disability, and make connections to other texts, films, songs, etc. You can have them choose just one poem to respond to or ask them to respond to 2 or 3. The length is up to you; I think two double-spaced pages is a good length for an informal response like this.

2)   You can have them do a more formal, academic response in which you have them make a claim about one of the poems and support the claim with textual evidence.   You can have them explain how the author uses such literary elements as tone, imagery, point of view, and figurative language to convey a certain idea or perspective. I think 3-5 double-spaced pages is a good length

3)   You can do a hybrid of the two, with an informal response followed by a more in-depth analysis.

·      When the assignment should be due is going to depend on which one you choose. An informal response only needs one or two days.   A more in-depth analysis needs more time. You may also want to give students time to work on their poetry responses in class so that they can get feedback from you during the writing process. This will depend on how much time you have and what resources you have (laptops in 1:1 classrooms, computer labs. libraries, etc.).

Independent application: Poetry response #2; read Me, chapters 14-15
Materials: Journals for students. Copies of Denise Leto’s essay and poems. Big paper and markers.
Accessibility: ·      Depending on students’ olfactory sensitivity, you may want to use unscented markers.

·      If you have visually impaired students, the “what I notice/what it means” activity will work just as well if you play something like Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition. Have students write down details they notice in the dynamics, speed, rhythm, key, etc., and then interpret what they think the composer was trying to communicate through those details. Then you can describe to students the pictures that inspired the music and see how closely their descriptions match Mussorgsky’s.

*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.

 

Lesson Plan Block 5

 

Block 5 (One to two lesson plans)
Learning Targets: Students will be able to:

·      Write a descriptive, imagery-rich poem in an imitative style.

·      Respond to poetry, citing evidence from poems that supports conclusions drawn from details.

·      Put texts into conversation with each other and generate new insights through the comparative analysis.

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

·      Analyze a critical essay, identifying its central argument and connecting it to poetry.

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.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.11-12.2

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.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.11-12.4

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.)

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.11-12.5

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.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.11-12.6

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).

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.11-12.3

Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, well-chosen details, and well-structured event sequences.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.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.

Hook:

 

 

Writing prompt.

·      Have students get out their journals. The writing prompt is “Write about your religious and/or ethical views and how they impact how you see yourself and the world.” If students feel comfortable doing so, have them discuss what they wrote about with someone sitting near them.

·      Transition to discuss how the poetry we’re going to study today is influenced by and deeply connected to the Buddhist beliefs held by the author, Brian Teare.

Scaffolded learning activities: ESSAY READING AND ANALYSIS

·      Even if students have individuals copies of the book Beauty is a Verb, hand out paper copies of the essay and poems for students to mark up.

·      Have students break into small groups and read the essay silently, highlighting words and phrases that express Teare’s religious beliefs (or at least the beliefs he used to hold). Then have students use a different color of highlighter to mark words and phrases that express his feelings about his disabilities. Have the groups discuss the connections they see between his religion and his attitude toward his disability. Then have them come to a conclusion about how Teare’s religion influences his perspective on his disabled identity, and have them write it in a sentence.

POETRY READING AND ANALYSIS

·      Before students read the poems, explain that you are going to analyze the poems’ imagery and look for representation of disability and religion. Have students read each poem silently and then have them re-read each poem aloud in small groups.

·      Then invite students to identify what they think are the two most striking/powerful images in each poem. Invite them to annotate at least one of those images, explaining its connotations.   For example, a cloudy sky is sometimes associated with low spirits, depression, sadness, or confusion. Have them share with their groups what images they thought were the most interesting and why. They should also compare the connotations they identified.

·      Extend the analysis of imagery by having students create a PowerPoint, Google presentation, or Prezi of one of the five poems. Have them find photographs that represent some of the images in the poem and use the lines as captions for the photos. Remind them to cite photos for copyright purposes. You can either have students post their slideshows someplace where the rest of the class can access them or present them to the class.

·      Have students apply their analysis of representations of religion and disability to the poems. In other words, have them use the same color highlighters they used to analyze the essay to find religious references or descriptions of disability in the poems.

·      After a discussion of Brian Teare’s poetic style (sparse; stark; sensual; etc.), invite students to compose a poem of their own in the style of Brian Teare’s poems. They can follow his pattern of adjective/noun and imitate his use of striking imagery. If they feel comfortable, they can write about some aspect of their identity that they feel is important, and they can also use the writing prompt as a springboard to include representations of their religious beliefs in their poems.

·      Have students work with a partner of their choosing to revise and edit the poems they’ve written. Circulate and offer feedback. I suggest putting poems, with students’ express permission, onto a bulletin board.

 

Independent application: Read Me, chapters 11-13
Materials: Journals for students. Copies of Brian Teare’s essay and poems (a stapled packet for each student).   Two different colors of highlighters for each student.
Accessibility: ·      Make sure that you frame this writing prompt in terms that are accessible for all students, including those who are atheists or agnostics. Explain how students can write about the system of values or virtues to which they ascribe and then explain how those values reveal underlying beliefs about humanity (for example, if I think people should treat each other respectfully, that might mean that I believe that humans deserve respect).

·      Be aware that today’s lesson contains at least two deeply personal issues: religion and disability. Students will likely have strong feelings. Encourage an atmosphere of respect and inclusion that allows all students to feel comfortable expressing beliefs in an articulate way. Be aware that some students will probably not want to share what they write today with anyone, including the teacher. If you give daily participation grades, consider collecting the annotations of Teare’s poems as today’s participation grade.

 

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.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.11-12.2

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.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.11-12.4

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.)

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.11-12.5

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.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.11-12.6

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).

Hook:

 

 

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.

WRITE AROUND

·      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.

Lesson Plan Block 3

 

Block 3 (One to three lesson plans)
Learning Targets: Students will be able to:

·      Write a description containing vivid sensory imagery.

·      Respond to poetry, citing evidence from the poem that supports conclusions drawn from details.

·      Put texts into conversation with each other and generate new insights through the comparative analysis.

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

·      Analyze a critical essay, identifying its central argument and connecting it to poetry.

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.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.11-12.2

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.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.11-12.4

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.)

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.11-12.5

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.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.11-12.6

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).

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.11-12.3

Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, well-chosen details, and well-structured event sequences.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.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.

Hook:

 

 

Writing prompt. Have students close their eyes for a few minutes and think about the classroom in terms of what they hear, feel, and smell. Invite them to explore their backpacks and desks/tables/chairs/clothing with their eyes closed (you may want to reiterate a “no hands on another person’s body” policy). Then have them get out their journals and write a description of the classroom based only on those sentences. Encourage them to include strongly descriptive sensory details. Then have them discuss with a partner what they noticed using only those three senses. Here are a couple of important notes about this prompt:

·      This activity falls somewhat into the category of “simulation exercise,” which can be rather perilous. Today’s poems have to do with blindness, and the prompt is meant to help students think about how blind people experience the world. However, we don’t want to unconsciously communicate to students the idea that we can know what it’s like to be blind simply by closing our eyes for a few minutes. While students will likely talk about blindness in their partner discussions, it’s important that you frame this as a sensory exercise that doesn’t use the deficit model. In other words, don’t have students focus on what they miss by losing vision, but what they notice (that they would likely overlook) by paying more attention to input from other senses.

·      Carmen Papalia is a blind man who guides sighted people on “blind walks.” In doing so, he successfully enables them to engage senses other than sight, which tend to overrule other sensory experiences. He opens up new modes of experience for them, which helps push back against that deficit model to which we default when thinking about disabilities. You can follow this link (http://blog.art21.org/2014/10/07/you-can-do-it-with-your-eyes-closed/#.Vjt_sYSdLzI) to show students Carmen’s story and to watch and respond to videos of his blind walks.

Scaffolded learning activities: REVIEW

·      Go over the ground rules for discussion again.

ESSAY READING

·      Pass out copies of Daniel Simpson’s essay “Line Breaks the Way I See Them.”

·      Read the essay silently, aloud to your students, using the “popcorn method” (assuming that all students feel comfortable reading aloud in front of the whole class, which is a BIG assumption to make), or read it aloud in small groups. Essay reading and poetry readings are a major part of this unit, and I recommend that you change up how you read them, based on the needs of your class.

·      Discuss* Simpson’s primary argument and how he supports it.

·      Discuss the concept of space in Simpson’s essay and how he perceives literal and metaphorical spaces in poetry differently from how sighted people perceive space.

·      Have a conversation in which students predict what Simpson’s poems might be like in light of the essay they’ve just read, both in terms of form and content. You may want to write these on the board in order to reference them later in the lesson.

POETRY READING AND INTERPRETATION

·      Pass out copies of Simpson’s poems “School for the Blind” and “Broken Reverie” and copies of Kuusisto’s “Only Bread, Only Light.” Before they read the poems, invite them to predict what they think the poems will be about based on the title.

·      Read the poems. Invite students to read silently first, and then aloud in small groups, each with a volunteer reader.

·      Have one section of students get into groups to analyze “School,” another section get into groups to analyze “Broken,” and another section get into groups to analyze “Only Bread.” Let them know that we are going to use the same TPCASTT format (see Lesson Plan 1 for instructions if you need them) that was introduced with Black’s poem and practiced with Hershey’s poem, but that we are going to do our analysis more quickly today.

·      Bring all the groups back together and invite a couple of volunteers from each group to explain their findings to the rest of the class.

·      Have students revisit the predictions they made about what Simpson’s poems were going to be like, based on his essay.   What predictions were accurate, and which ones reveal assumptions or conclusions that proved inaccurate?

TEXTS IN CONVERSATION

·      Draw a dotted-line-Venn diagram and invite students to do the same in their notes (or you can have them work in pairs to draw diagrams on big paper). Explain that the reason that we create dotted lines is that the boundaries between texts are often blurred or indefinite. A point of similarity can also be a point of difference.

·      Tell students to select two texts: two of any of the poems we’ve read thus far. Have them identify points of similarity and points of difference in how authors perceive themselves and the world and how they express their perspectives.

EXPLANATION OF POETRY RESPONSE THAT STUDENTS WILL BE DOING FOR INDEPENDENT APPLICATION

·      Teacher, you have a couple of options here in regard to how you frame the assignment.

1)   You can keep the response informal and have students react to what they notice in the poems, explain how the poems are helping them think in new ways about the subject of disability, and make connections to other texts, films, songs, etc. You can have them choose just one poem to respond to or ask them to respond to 2 or 3.   The length is up to you; I think two double-spaced pages is a good length for an informal response like this.

2)   You can have them do a more formal, academic response in which you have them make a claim about one of the poems and support the claim with textual evidence.   You can have them explain how the author uses such literary elements as tone, imagery, point of view, and figurative language to convey a certain idea or perspective. I think 3-5 double-spaced pages is a good length

3)   You can do a hybrid of the two, with an informal response followed by a more in-depth analysis.

4)   When the assignment should be due is going to depend on which one you choose. An informal response only needs one or two days.   A more in-depth analysis needs more time. You may also want to give students time to work on their poetry responses in class so that they can get feedback from you during the writing process. This will depend on how much time you have and what resources you have (laptops in 1:1 classrooms, computer labs. libraries, etc.).

Independent application: Poetry response #1; read Me, chapters 6-7
Materials: Journals for students.   Copies of Daniel Simpson’s essay “Line Breaks the Way I See Them,” his poems “School for the Blind” and “Broken Reverie.” Copies of “Only Bread, Only Light” by Stephen Kuusisto. Big paper and markers if that’s what you’re using for your Venn diagrams.
Accessibility: ·      For the writing prompt, students who experience auditory, olfactory, or tactile impairment may feel ostracized. While there are a variety of options for how you choose to tackle this important issue of inclusion, I think one valid option is to have each student write a description of the classroom using only one sense of their choice.   Then you can discuss how using one sense is limiting, but also freeing, in that it presents aspects of the room they would ordinarily overlook.

·      Students with learning disabilities may struggle with the poetry response if you choose to assign the academic analysis. For those students, you may want to scaffold their learning by having them write their first response as partly informal reaction, partly analysis and then the second response as more analysis.

*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.

 

Lesson Plan Block 2

 

Block 2 (One to three lesson plans)
Learning Targets: Students will be able to:

·      Write a brief narrative of their lives, using descriptive details of events and experiences to communicate their stories to one another.

·      Respond to poetry, citing evidence from the poem that supports conclusions drawn from details.

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

·      Analyze a critical essay, identifying its central argument and connecting it to poetry.

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.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.11-12.2

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.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.11-12.4

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.)

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.11-12.5

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.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.11-12.6

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).

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.11-12.3

Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, well-chosen details, and well-structured event sequences.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.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.

Hook:

 

 

Writing prompt. Have students write for a given amount of time (3-5 minutes works well) and encourage them to keep their pens or pencils moving on the page. They need to write whatever comes to mind, as easily and effortlessly as possible (stream of consciousness).

·      The writing prompt is “Tell your story.” Have students get out their journals, and let them know that the prompt is intentionally vague because you want to give them full freedom to tell whatever narratives of their lives they believe are most significant. Encourage them to relate events and experience using descriptive detail. If you are going to have them share their writing, let them know this in advance.

·      Find one or two other people in the room with whom you can share what you wrote about.   (I let them choose partners for this, because they will be more willing to share with members of their own communities.)

·      Have a discussion* about telling our stories.

1)   What is empowering about telling our stories?

2)   What is risky about telling our stories?

3)   What does telling our story show us about how we interpret other people’s stories?

·      SUPPLEMENTARY ACTIVITY. Show the Ted talk “The Danger of a Single Story” by Chimamande Ngozi Adichie (available on YouTube). Have a follow-up discussion of the kinds of stories we tell ourselves about people with disabilities and how the novel and/or poems we are reading might challenge those narratives.

Scaffolded learning activities: REVIEW

·      Go over the ground rules for discussion again.

DISCUSSION OF NORTHERN’S ESSAY

·      Discuss the central argument and some of the key supporting details in Northern’s essay.   This can take the form of a brief whole class discussion, or you can do the following activity. Identify some of his key rhetorical features, including ethos, pathos, and logos.

·      Have students write down on index cards two questions they had about the essay. Invite them to think of questions that challenge, wonder about, extend, or complicate Northern’s ideas. Perhaps provide them with a model question if this kind of thinking is new for them.

·      Depending on the set-up of your classroom, have every other student (I usually call them by name) stand up and rotate two seats so that they are sitting by new people. Have them discuss the first question for a few minutes (call “time” when discussion starts to die down). Then have the same students you called stand up again and rotate again to discuss question 2 with a new partner.

·      Have students return to their seats and hold a whole-class discussion of some of the questions that persist after the discussion. Connect some of the concepts in Northern’s essay to the Sheila Black poem that you explicated in the previous class.

ESSAY READING

·      Pass out copies of Laura Hershey’s essay “Getting Comfortable.”

·      Read Laura Hershey’s essay “Getting Comfortable.” I like to have my students vote on whether to read an essay silently, have me read it aloud, or read it aloud in small groups, but do whatever works best for your class. Introduce the students (if you haven’t already) to the concept of ethos, and talk about the different ways authors go about cultivating a certain type of ethos.

·      Discuss* Hershey’s primary argument and how she supports it. Then have them discuss what kind of ethos Hershey builds and how she goes about building it.

POETRY READING AND INTERPRETATION

·      Pass out copies of Laura Hershey’s poems “Working Together” and “Telling.”   Before they read the poems, invite them to predict what they think the poems will be about based on the title.

·      Read the poems. Invite students to read silently first, and then aloud in small groups, each with a volunteer reader.

·      Ask students what their initial reaction to the poems was, and invite them to consider what light Hershey’s essay sheds on her poems.

·      Have half the students get into groups to analyze “Telling” and the other half get into groups to analyze “Working Together.” I recommend either writing on the board or putting on a worksheet the elements of TPCASTT that you showed them in the last poetic interpretation (title, paraphrase, connotation, attitude, shift, title, and theme).   Instruct them to follow the same process you followed: write a brief paraphrase of each section of the poem, circle words with rich and complex connotations and explore those, identify the author’s attitude (as well as evidence!), identify the poem’s shift, revisit the meaning of the title, and draw out a couple of central themes the poem explores. Check for understanding, and then circulate the room as groups work, helping/guiding where necessary.

·      Bring all the groups back together and invite a couple of volunteers from each side of the room to explain their findings to the rest of the class.

·      Revisit the questions you explored after the writing prompt and discuss how they might apply to the Hershey poems:

1) What is empowering about telling our stories?

2) What is risky about telling our stories?

3) What does telling our story show us about how we interpret other people’s stories?

REACTION TO NOVEL

·      Invite students to get into groups and talk about their initial reactions to the novel. What interests them so far? What confuses them? How do the opening chapters intersect (in both form and content) with the poems we’ve been reading? What assumptions did they find themselves making about the narrator?

Independent application: Read Me, chapters 3-5. Remind students that the poetry response is forthcoming (see Block 3 for instructions).
Materials: Journals (for the students), index cards, extra pens/pencils (depending on how you feel about that), copies of Laura Hershey’s essay “Getting Comfortable” and her poems “Working Together” and “Telling.”
Accessibility: ·      For the writing prompt, you can play soft music or white noise (like rain) while students are writing, and then they know to stop when the music stops. But be aware that this can be helpful to the focus of some students (because it blocks out the noise of scratching pencils, sniffles, etc.), it can potentially be a distraction to your students with ADD or processing disorders.

·      At the time when you’re having students share their stories with each other, acknowledge that for some students, their writing may be too personal to share.   Give those students the option of doing another activity while other students share. For example, they could turn their writing prompts into poetry.

*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.