Reflection: Lesson Planning Let's Hear What You Know: Collaborative Discussion and Reading of A Tale of Two Cities (Day 2 of 2) - Section 4: Tale Jigsaw Analysis: Group Discussions


If you've been looking at many of my lessons, you will have noticed that I struggle with keeping a lesson or activity to just one day of instruction. Some of this is just because of the nature of an activity, but some of it is intentional lesson planning.

For example, today's lesson was actually really good, but in wandering around and listening to my students discussing the book, I heard them finally getting some of the bigger plot points that have been challenging them and I realized that doing a closer reading/character analysis seems to have unlocked some of their comprehension in a way that I did not anticipate that it would. Because of this, I am going to take time on Friday to return to the characters and work more strategically to make sure that they are understanding what is happening once we've met all the key players.

I have always struggled with teaching this book. It is a great book and has a great connection to the history that my students are learning right now, but it is a difficult slog to get through Dickens' style, specifically his wordiness. Convincing teenagers to stick with it is also a difficult slog. This is the challenge of teaching literature with the new standards. There are such key skills that students need to master over the course of the year and that takes time. Reading a novel like this also takes time, and often times the skills we are working with are limited to comprehension of a difficult text.

Do I think it is important to slog like this? Absolutely. Do I think I could be teaching it better? Absolutely. Once I know the standards better than I do now, I think I will be able to revise my lessons to make sure I am hitting a wider variety of skills in my lesson planning. As for now, in the last full week of the semester, my goal is that they understand the text enough to leave for break with some sense of anticipation for what is to come when we return.

  Diving Deeper in Future Lessons
  Lesson Planning: Diving Deeper in Future Lessons
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Let's Hear What You Know: Collaborative Discussion and Reading of A Tale of Two Cities (Day 2 of 2)

Unit 8: Literary: Analysis of Plot and Character Development in A Tale of Two Cities
Lesson 5 of 11

Objective: SWBAT refer to textual evidence to drive collaborative discussion by gathering and providing evidence of character development from a close reading of A Tale of Two Cities.

Big Idea: How do characters develop in a Dickens novel? How can multiple heads work together to discover this in a meaningful way?

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