Reflection: Complex Tasks Cornerstone Analyzing Word Choice in Stage Directions - Section 4: The Second Read: Analyzing the Impact of the Author's Word Choice on Mood


Analyzing is the process of taking things apart, looking at the pieces individually, and then putting it back together to see how it all fits together.

Prior to seventh grade, students are asked to describe, determine, explain, or compare.  In seventh grade, they’re still comparing, and determining somethings, but analyzing plays a much bigger role in the standards.

This is a huge shift in seventh grade for literature. Let’s look at the third standard for reading literature in sixth grade.  It asks students to “describe how a plot unfolds and how the characters respond to change.  In seventh grade, they’re asked to analyze how elements of a story interact.  That’s a huge jump.  

That means that it’s important for teachers to understand what it means when we ask student to analyze a text for plot or setting.  We’re asking them to back away from the whole piece.  We’re asking them to zoom in on certain parts and examine how those little parts develop to impact the whole.  We’re asking them to identify the mood.  Then they look at the word choice that an author uses to create a mood and isolate those words and examine how it affects the characters.

  What is Analyzing?
  Complex Tasks: What is Analyzing?
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Cornerstone Analyzing Word Choice in Stage Directions

Unit 10: Analyzing Literature with Act 1 of Rod Serling’s “The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street”
Lesson 6 of 10

Objective: Students will be able to analyze how the author uses vocabulary to create a setting that impacts the mood and characters by close reading, discussing, and writing.

Big Idea: Welcome to Maple Street. . . a world of friendly neighbors and wary whispers.

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