Raymonds Run - Story Elements and a Silent Discussion

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SWBAT discuss story elements and their function in, and contribution to, "Raymond's Run."

Big Idea

Sharing ideas related to story elements helps students to come to a more sophisticated set of understandings about how they influence the reading of a text.

Latin Roots Warm Up

10 minutes

This is our daily warm up, wherein students work with two or three Latin roots per day.  The resource that I use to get my roots is Perfection Learning's Everyday Words from Classic Origins.
Every day, when the students arrive, I have two Latin roots on the SmartBoard.  Their job is to generate as many words as they can that contain the roots, and they try to guess what the root means.  After I give them about five minutes, we share words and I tell them what the root means.

The students compile these daily activities in their class journals.  After every twelve roots, they take a test on the roots themselves and a set of words that contains them.

Opening Question

10 minutes

This is a two day lesson.  The first day can be found here.

At this point, the students have begun to fill in the story elements on the graphic organizer.  This is a good time to review conflict in the story and to refresh students on internal and external conflict.  I do this by giving them examples like "Struggling with your desire to go out with your friends when you know you should study...internal or external?"  "Trying to find your way home on foot during a snowstorm"  etc.

Opening question:  Is the central conflict in this story internal or external?

Finishing the Reading: "Raymond's Run"

20 minutes

Students will pick up the reading at the point of the May Day races and continue to the end of the story.  You can choose to read the story aloud or use a recording.  Either way, while the students are reading, I am circulating and asking kids (who seem to be drifting off), "Where are we in the story?"  Usually, they assume that I have lost my place, but I use the opportunity to help them to find theirs.


Working with the Ideas: Silent Discussion

30 minutes

Silent discussions can be done in many different ways.  I used it to push student thinking about plot elements, and I wanted to limit the activity to about 25-30 minutes.

Students are given a question (you can label them A, B, C, etc. or use colored dots to keep a student from answering the same question again and again.) In Resources, I uploaded my questions.  You can use them all or choose the ones you like. 

On the first round, students have ten minutes to respond to the question.  They may use the text, their graphic organizers, and any other notes they might have.  When the timer chimes, they pass their paper to another student and then take a different question sheet, which will already have another student's thoughts on it. 

On the second rotation, students read and respond to what their classmate has said. Five minutes is allotted to this round.  They can add to their classmate's point or draw a distinction. 

The third round is just like Round 2, only the student has yet another question and two responses to read before writing.  Five minutes is allotted, but you might want to give one or two extra minutes to accommodate the additional reading.

Finally, the student gets his/her original paper back and has 5-10 minutes to read all of the responses and to write a reflection.  This reflection could include things the student wishes he or she said, or a discussion of the patterns that he/she sees in the responses.  Another strategy is to have the "owner" of the paper highlight the best ideas within all of the responses.

Housekeeping note:  Make sure the students put their names next to their responses EVERY TIME THEY WRITE.  It is hard enough to compile scores with names, much less without.