We will start class with ten minutes of reading time. I will read with the students during this time.
After our ten minutes of reading, I will give the students a small quiz over their Persepolis reading homework from the weekend. I want to check to make sure they are keeping up with their assignment and to gauge how well they are understanding the text so far.
When I do "pop" reading quizzes, I like to keep them simple. I usually ask the students to tell me as much as they can about a word or character that was significant in their reading homework. For this quiz, I will ask them to tell me as much as they can about Uncle Anoosh. For these informal quizzes, I tell the students to rip paper in half and share with a friend and then give them about five minutes to write as much as they can.
To do this, they will work independently at their desks to answer the questions on the back of their note catchers before getting into groups to discuss the questions. I will ask them to make sure they have specific support for their discussion and remind them to use the text to guide their thinking (RL.9-10.1).
For our discussion of the questions, I will use one of my favorite formats--numbered heads together. I learned this in ELL training many years ago and find that it works really well for all levels of students (SL.9-10.1).
I will move the students into groups of four and ask them to number off one through four. I will then give each group a number (I will have 14 groups). I will then ask them to discuss the first question from the discussion sheet. Their task as a group is to make sure that all group members can answer the question, using specific, textual support (SL.9-10.1a) in case they are called on to report.
I will then use my set of Dungeons and Dragons polyhedron dice (you only wish you were as cool as I am) to roll a group number (I use the 20 sided dice for this and re-roll if I get a number higher than 14) and then a "person" number (I have a four sided dice for this). The person who's number is rolled has to answer the question.
I am very adamant that "I don't know" is not a valid answer in this discussion format, especially because they had time to discuss with their group prior to being called on. If a student looks perplexed or struggles, I make the group help him or her to say something. I always try very hard to encourage good responses and use positive, nudging questions if I feel like an answer lacks depth.
I will continue the discussion until all questions have been answered and hope that the students will hear the responses of their classmates and start to draw some conclusions about the relationship between character and narrative.