It is important to assess what the student's understanding of character motivation is from yesterday's lesson . In moving forward with teaching conflict, a lot of conflict is caused by the characters within the story. To understand the conflict, it is important to understand what motivated that character to make the choice he or she made. I think it is important to continuously bridge the concepts and to show the students how it all connects so they understand why I am teaching it.
To begin, I will pass out the resource sheet to each student. Have the student work to complete the handout. This handout reviews the concepts taught yesterday with character traits and character motivation. This review will be used to connect to the concept of conflicts and how conflict drives the plot of a story. Again, driving home the purpose of learning. The students always want to know "WHY" they are learning it.
I have included two different advanced organizers. The one titled Reinforcement can be used with your struggling learners. The one titled Extension can be used with the students who are working to master the skill. I like to provide as much differentiation as possible, it isn't always easy, but this was one I was able to pull off!
Allow the students 10 minutes to complete. I would collect this advanced organizer rather than go over it. It is nice at times to use this authentic assessment to drive my lessons. If time allows, which we know it often does not, I will quickly glance through the handout to gain an idea for my next step. Do I reteach, review, provide more practice? Or, am I ready to move on!
The students have a basic understanding of conflict and how it affects the plot. I want the students to analyze the text to identify the types of conflicts in the story, often they can do this in isolation, but I want them to be able to use this skill to grapple with longer pieces.
First, I am going to pass out the Guided Notes handout to the students. I will have the students complete the guided notes as I go through the power point. I like to use Guided Notes Video at times when there is a lot of information to take down. This will help them focus on the content rather than the act of copying notes.
Go through the Conflict power point (slides 3-10), discussing the different types of conflicts. As we discuss each type of conflict, I will have students share other examples from stories they are familiar with reading. This will help them build connections to the learning and make it more meaningful. The hardest type of conflict for the students to really differentiate between is character vs. nature. Sixth graders have a very concrete way of thinking and to them, nature is something that is outside. Nature is birds, trees, grass, storms, snow; it takes time for them to realize the concept of nature as it is applied to conflict. Often, they will confuse this with character vs. character because they see the character struggle, but not with anything concrete, so they assume it's internal. I try to teach the the students to ask themselves "is it a source outside of them that they cannot control?" This seems to help them bring it into perspective a little bit.
To practice with the types of conflict, I am first going to give them a Conflict Sort Handout with several examples of conflict. They are going to work in their groups to sort the examples into the different types of conflict. I have them work with just the conflict before working with an entire story to really isolate and target the skill of categorizing the conflict. Once we have mastered that, I will introduce the skill with text.
I pass out an envelope with the examples cut into sentence strips. I will have the students read the example aloud in their group and then begin to discuss it. Encourage the students to use their notes at this point. They should be referring back to their notes and analyzing the text. This is the skill we want them to develop.
Allow the students about 10 minutes to work before calling them back as a group to discuss.
This activity will engage the students and force them to apply the definitions to analyze the text. It is a great way to bridge the students and build their stamina.
*An alternative is to do an "Around The Room". Place the sentence strips around the room and have the students work with their shoulder partner to circulate the room and identify which type of conflict each example belongs to. Number the sentence strips and have the students number their notebook page. You could use this for an informal assessment as well.
Next, pass out the story Tuesday of the Other June. We have already read this text and by using it for the activity, the students will be able to focus on analyzing the text for conflict. I am also going to have the students analyze "The Born Worker." I am choosing to do both of these texts because they both demonstrate the types of conflict very clearly. I am choosing to use two texts because they are scaffolded in complexity. In Tuesday of the Other June, the conflicts are direct and easier to identify. In "The Born Worker" there are direct conflicts, but a few additional indirect conflicts as well.
Have the students work independently for 10 minutes to list as many conflicts as they can in each story. Have the students record their responses on the handout Tuesday of the Other June.
Once they have generated their answers, I will ask them to Round Robin share their answers. In a Round Robin, the students take turns sharing their responses. I do this so the students can get more feedback and validation than they would having just one partner. As they share and listen, I will encourage them to add any conflicts they missed. Also, by having the students work with all four members of their group, the two students who struggle will receive additional support and modeling from the two stronger students.
I will have the students turn this in for a grade.
To assess the students' understanding and to help them process their own learning, I will ask the students to complete a Closure Slip.