Lesson: Author's Biases

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Lesson Objective

SWBAT question the author’s biases, based on prior knowledge of the author’s work or attitude toward issues.

Lesson Plan

 

Time

Description of Segment

Teacher #1 Says/Does

Students Are

5 minutes

DRP Quick Questions

 

Instructor goes over the answers to the DRP passages and asks students to identify which strategy they used to answer each DRP question.

Listening and tracking; raising hands and participating in call-and response and discussion

5 minutes

HW Check

Instructor leads students in a discussion of which test-taking strategies they used to answer reading-standards multiple choice questions and what evidence they used to answer reading-standards multiple choice questions.

Listening and tracking; raising hands and participating in call-and response and discussion

5 minutes

Word of the Day

Instructor introduces the word of the day and leads students in creating their index card for it. 

Writing the word, definition and sentence on an index car and illustration of the word on their vocabulary index card.

5 minutes

Hook With Journal Writing

 

 

After setting up the I Think Journal heading, students will write for 1 minute to the following prompt: 

 

What do you imagine Karen Hesse is like? Describe how you envision her.

Listening and tracking; writing

10 minutes

Mini Lesson

Instructor will ask for a few responses to the journal prompt above.

 

We’ve now spent two days trying to hypothesize Karen Hesse’s point of view based on the narrators she created. Today we’ll do more with trying to figure out what kind of person Karen Hesse is—only we’ll concentrate on her biography and her other novels and we try to figure out what sort of things she might be biased towards or against.

 

These are the two questions we’ll try to answer. Track the examples I gave you for how I answered them using Sherman Alexia and Absolutely True Diary.

 

1. Think about what you know about your author. What BIASES might they have?

I know Sherman Alexie grew up in a situation very similar to Junior in ATD, and I know that novel is semi-autobiographical. That tells me Alexie probably has a lot of the same biases Junior does. For instance, Junior is pretty biased against the school system on reservations. He talks about the lack of materials in his rez school and how teachers there used to try to “de-Indianize” children. The fact that Sherman Alexie included these details show he is also biased against reservation schools.

2. How do you think these biases affected what they wrote in this novel?

Sherman Alexie being biased against rez schools affects this novel in many ways. For one thing, the whole novel centers around Junior leaving a rez school for a “better” white school. If Alexie did not genuinely believe rez schools were a bad place to be educated, he would not have made that a basis for the plot in the novel.

 

This bias also affects how Alexie shows rez schools—they may not be as horrific as Alexie makes them out to be; he is clearly biased against them and would not show them in their strongest light.

 

 

Listening and tracking; taking notes when required.

15 minutes

Guided Practice

 

Today, for GP, we’re going to read some biographical information about Karen Hesse. Then, we use what we read in that biography to answer the same questions we answered above.

 

As a class, the scholars will read a short biography of Hesse’s life. Then, through class discussion, the scholars will formulate answers to the same questions shown above in the minilesson about Hesse and possible biases she would have.

Reading, joining in discussion, taking notes when required.

35 minutes

Independent Practice Part 1: Reading

 

Today, in addition to reading Witness, you’re going to read some excerpts from another novel Hesse wrote—Out of the Dust. Pay close attention to other biases that novel shows Hesse might have. After you read those exceprts and a few more pages of  Witness, you’ll use your exit ticket to show me what other biases you think Karen Hesse has. P. 131-143

 

Independently, scholars will read pages 131-143 and some background info and excerpts from the novel Out of the Dust.

 

Reading

10 minutes

Independent Practice Part 2: Exit Ticket

Scholars will answer the exit ticket questions shown below.

Writing

Texts Needed:

Witness

Out of the Dust by Karen Hesse

Background info on Karen Hesse

 

 

Exit Ticket Questions:

1. Think about what you know about your author. What BIASES might they have?

2. How do you think these biases affected what they wrote in this novel?

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