Lesson: LRA 3.3 - Character Actions and Motivations

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Lesson Objective

SWBAT analyze character actions and possible motivations in Blackmail by Gary Soto and show their understanding with a Friday quiz on characters in a different story.

Lesson Plan

5RL3.3 – Character Actions and Motivations in Blackmail
5th Grade EPACS – Week of September 7th, 2009
Standard : 5RL3.3
Narrative Analysis of Grade-Level-Appropriate Text: Contrast the actions, motives (e.g., loyalty, selfishness, conscientiousness), and appearances of characters in a work of fiction and discuss the importance of the contrasts to the plot or theme.
I. Desired Outcome
SWBAT analyze character actions and possible motivations in Blackmail by Gary Soto and show their understanding with a Friday quiz on characters in a different story.   
II. Evidence of Learning*
-Character Action organizer
-Grand Discussion Responses
-Friday Assessment
III. Opening the Lesson
A. Activity to open the lesson ideally:
 1. Motivates and engages students,
 2. Either assesses prior knowledge or explicitly builds on prior knowledge/life experiences/interests – for example, “Do Nowsâ€
 3. States the objective of the lesson.
B. How long will the opening take?
C. Consider Blooms Taxonomy/Ask good questions (Knowledge, Understanding, Application, Analysis, Synthesis, Evaluation)
Tell Ss that this week we will be tackling a new Gary Soto story, Blackmail. Tell Ss that in this story we will read about Angel, a young boy whose older brother “Weasel†isn’t very nice to him. Tell students that as we read we will be looking at the actions of each character in the story and thinking about how the things they do (their actions) are connected to the things they want (their motivations) . Tell students that at the end of the week they will have a chance to show what they’re learned with a Friday quiz on a different story by Gary Soto. 
Tell students that before we read today, you’d like discuss a word that will be essential to their understanding the things we discuss as a class this week. Write the word motivation on the board and ask students to share with a partner anything they already know about this word or place they’ve seen it before. Discuss as a class.
Ask students to think for a minute about the following question.
What motivates you to do your homework? 
Take responses, and finish the brainstorm by pointing out that one action (doing your homework) can have many motivations (want to go to college, parents tell you to, earn free dress or allowance, etc).
Now complete the first read and collect class questions.
 (3-4 Minutes)
IV. Instruction and Modeling* – What is the teacher doing?
A.What are you going to teach and how? (Will you provide relevant information, model thought processes, establish guides or graphic organizers, etcetera?)
B.How will you differentiate instruction? (small groups, guided math, guided reading, guided writing, literature circles, etc)
C..How long will each activity take?
D. Consider Blooms Taxonomy/Ask good questions (Knowledge, Understanding, Application, Analysis, Synthesis, Evaluation)
E. Consider Newmann’s Rigor
Day 3 (Students should have read the story twice and answered as many clarifying questions as possible)
Tell students that today we will be thinking about the actions of the characters in our story. Show students the organizer they will be using and begin walking them through the side for “Weasel.â€
The first action is taking the photo of Angel in the shower. Model for students how you brainstorm his motivations on the board. You may want to model moving from “lower†order responses to higher order, such as:
Well, Weasel said that he took the photo because he wanted to show all the girls at school. Was that right? (flip through text and read). Well, not really actually. He said that Angel had to give him 20 bucks to get the photo back. So I guess Weasel took it because he wanted 20 bucks. But was there a bigger reason than that? Why did he really want to get from Angel? Well, if I think about my own life, I remember when I was little I was mean to my sisters sometimes. I don’t think I was mean because I didn’t like them. I was mean because I wanted to have power over them. Does that make sense? Yeah, I think that’s right. I’m going to write Weasel’s motivation was he wanted to have power over Angel.     
 (10 minutes)
Differentiation Supports
-Modified work for Vidi and Cristian
-Partnered/ELL work for Carlos A.
-Sentence Frames
-Vocabulary Supports and Pictures
Vidi and Cristian: Post-game the themes in this story for ten minutes during reading workshop on Tuesday. Highlight the sections of the story they will need to use on Thursday with the organizer, and modify the actions to make sure they can find specific evidence rather than inferential evidence. 
Carlos A: Synopsis of the story w/ Ms. Caruthers on Tuesday morning. List out the 6 actions in chronological order and have them work together to draw pictures. Vocabulary work around sight words. 
V.Guided Practice – What are the students doing?
A.What will students do to interact and practice the subject matter? 
B. How will you differentiate instruction? 
C.What sorts of groupings will you use?
D.How long will each activity take?
Guide students through two to three more character actions until Ss seem comfortable working on their own. Make sure all students are clear on work expectations for completion of the assignment, then send them back to their seats in pairs. 
(3-5 minutes)
VI. Independent Practice –
Ss work in pairs to find motivations and evidence. Tt checks in with focal students, then works in a small group at the back table.    
 (10 minutes)
VIII. Closing the Lesson
Return students whole class and pick two actions (one from each character) to discuss as a class. 
(5-8  Minutes)

Lesson Resources

Blackmail Character Motivations map   Activity
Questions for Blackmail   Activity


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