Literary Discussion Roles: Illustrator

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SWBAT analyze how the elements of a story interact by drawing a picture and citing textual evidence.

Big Idea

Visualize it, draw it, and cite it!


5 minutes

Because chapter 9 is so thrilling, students usually don't have a hard time remembering the big events.  However, as a reminder of the details of the events in the graveyard, I will have students take out their character connections graphic organizer from yesterday

After they take a moment to review it on their own, we will have a quick conversation about what happened in chapter 9.  Key points to talk about:

  • Muff Potter thinks he killed Doc Robinson
  • Injun Joe doesn't know the boys saw him stab Doc Robinson
  • Injun Joe put the murder weapon in Muff Potter's hand
  • The boys ran off before Injun Joe put the murder weapon in Potter's hand



Getting Down to Business

35 minutes

Once we have reviewed the events in chapter 9, it is time to read chapter 10 for the first time.  Again, I use the audio for my students' first encounter with the chapter.  We will be rereading this chapter many times this week, and this they will do silently.

Today is the day that I introduce my students to the idea of literary discussion.  This is one of my favorite parts about being an English Language Arts teacher.  Great literature is about great ideas, and when people have stories in common, great discussions can happen!  

The resources and philosophy behind the lessons in this unit can be found in Harvey Daniels's Literature Circles: Voice and Choice in Book Clubs and Reading Groups.  I highly recommend that you get this book and read it.  Mr. Daniels changed the way I work with students in reading groups, and my lessons here do not do his work justice.

After we have listened to the chapter, I hand out a Literature Circle Packet to each student.  If your copies are limited, a class set of this packet works almost as well.  Rather than having students highlight important information and take notes on each sheet, they will have to keep a separate set of notes.  Cornell Notes would work great in this particular instance.

I begin our discussion about literature circles by posing this question to my students, "Has anyone ever heard of a book club?"  This gets us going on a discussion about book clubs and what people do in them. 

I tell them that we're going to turn this class into mini-book clubs by having discussions about what we read.  We talk about how it's no fun to be a part of a group where there are those who do all of the work and those who do  nothing, and that is why we are going to have specific jobs.

We read the front cover of the packet and then the instructions for Illustrator.  I have them highlight:

  • It can be a sketch, cartoon, diagram, flow chart, or stick-figure scene.
  • You can even label things with words if that helps


And then in the "Assignment" box:

  • Find a quote from the text to use as a caption for your illustration.


Once we've reviewed the instructions, I have students create their visual representations and caption their pictures with a quote from the chapter.



Did They Get It?

10 minutes

When there are about 10 minutes left in class, I will have students share their illustrations with their groups.  I want them to practice taking on the role of the Illustrator in a Literary Circle Discussion.

I project the PowerPoint slide and review the steps of sharing an illustration.

As the students are working through their illustrations, I will circulate.  Sometimes I listen, sometimes I guide them through being silly, and other times I have to flat-out redirect their behavior.  This is all part of the training process.

I have students keep these notes in their binders for future reference.