Reflection: Lesson Planning They Carried Tangible And Intangible Things - Section 3: Independent Work


This activity is not very complex, but it does a good job of engaging students in a deeper study of the characters. In their selection of items to include on the chart, they are actively paying attention to the details that draw them into the novel and using them to get to learn about the characters, an important Common Core skill. It also allowed for informal discussion about the novel. During this time students were referring to the text, in search of details to include on the chart, and questions and comments naturally came up. For instance, they wondered if real soldiers who were in Vietnam really carried that amount of drugs. They also commented on how difficult it must have been to carry all that stuff on those long marches. This was an assignment with lower stakes, as they were able to ask me and their classmates questions along the way, but it does lead to discussion and it is a good way of engaging students into a text we are working with for at least a couple of weeks. That the discussion was informal encourages students to ask questions they are genuinely wondering about. Today, that translated into more students participating in the discussion because they felt they could really ask whatever was on their mind. This offered them an opportunity to practice listening and speaking skills required in the Common Core. Here is a sample chart.

  Lesson Planning: The Tangible/Intangible Chart
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They Carried Tangible And Intangible Things

Unit 9: The Things They Carried
Lesson 3 of 6

Objective: SWBAT gain better understanding of the characters in The Things They Carried by examining tangible and intangible items the soldiers carry and engaging in informal discussion.

Big Idea: The intangible is often more profound than the tangible.

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