Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Day Two of a week of lessons for 8th Grade

Content Focus: Louis Sacher’s Holes
Topic Focus: The Influence of Character and Setting on Plot Development
Standard Focus: 7.3.A.3.f - Analyze the actions of characters that serve to advance the plot.

Essential Question: How do multiple plot lines affect the flow of a novel?

Source for Lesson: Sacher, Louis. Holes.  Random House Inc., New York: 1998.

Objective -  Students will be able to identify critical plot points and explain in detail how the actions of the characters effected the movement of the plot of Chapter Seven in the novel Holes.

This lesson had too many pages of work to do for one ninety minute class period. However, because of the fact that the library was closed today for the book fair, I was able to give it to the students for an extra forty-five minute period. I gave the students the option to work on the packet or to do a different activity and they chose to do the packet so that we would have the computers the next day. All students except for one were not able to finish the packet, this may have been due to the distraction of group work, or the student’s own drive to finish.
Three things that went well:
  • The students were repeatedly drilled on how to pull main ideas out of text and then summarize that information successfully.
  • The students were able to have a more immersive understanding of the text.
  • The students were prepped for future activities with the text where we will be reading selections of the text as a class that they had already read for homework.
  • This assignment will be saved and used for the ARP as a writing assignment before intervention.

Three things that could be improved:
  • The packet of work was too large and was overwhelming to the students. The activity would have been more beneficial if I had only used one or two sections of text for each plot line to compare. This would have enabled students to get more into the interactions of the plot rather than into the interactions of main ideas and plot points.  
  • I somehow managed to turn off spell check on my computer so there were about 500000000 mistakes in the text of the story. This turned into an editing activity as well and the students circled or corrected the many mistakes in the worksheets. This turned out to be both good and bad.
  • My time understanding needs to be improved because I am having trouble differentiating between the amount of work that I could do in a time frame and the amount of work my students can do in a time frame. I think that I have figured the correlation to be a 3:1 ratio and I will test this as a model on next week’s lessons.

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