In this lesson, students will read a fictional story which describes the life of a Sioux family and a young boy’s appreciation of his grandpa, culture, and tradition. Prior to students interacting with the text, I want to begin a dialogue about culture and its redefinition in today's society. If I asked students how culture could be defined in our society how would they respond? To please my curiosity, I place the following prompt on the whiteboard
How do you define culture? How does culture look here in America? In your neighborhood? In your home?
Students will be asked to respond to the sentences in 3 minutes. Check out this student response to culture prompt! Typically when asked to write in my classroom, students write 5 to 8 sentences supporting their ideas about a particular topic. Because I want to purposely create a brainstormed list of ideas, I shorten the time to create an atmosphere where students need to think quickly on their feet. Once time is up, I will go around the room calling on each student to share what was written on their paper. In the end, a general list of ideas can be discussed throughout the lesson to confirm culture's existence in one's life.
Characters are important to a story because they help it come to life. In "The Medicine Bag," Martin goes from being embarrassed of his grandpa to appreciating not only his ancestry but the medicine bag given to him by grandpa before he passes. So, how can readers experience the emotions felt by Martin during his state of embarrassment?
In fiction stories, characters are identified in eight distinct ways. Before students read the selection, I want them to gain a better understanding of character types. To help students understand a character's development throughout a story, I will have them take notes on The 8 Methods of Characterization power point. If notes are taken on a foldable, here is a how to make a foldable video to help them through the process. Then we will go back to discussing culture and reading the text.
Students will silently read the story, "The Medicine Bag". I want my students to interpret the characters in the story without any interference from other students in the classroom. Reading a piece of text independently allows students to use preferred methods of visualization, skimming, or annotating to comprehend the literature. When “first reads” are done in my classroom, I allow students to choose their method of comprehension to help them better engage with the text.
After students read the selection, they will choose a character (Cheryl, Martin, and Grandpa) to analyze. With the help of a graphic organizer, students will record their information then share with a partner what evidence from the text supported their analysis of the character. So how does the idea of culture relate to this task of character analysis? Culture plays a huge factor in the way people live. From the responses students have written on their paper, they will be able to use them to see how culture impacts the manners, dress, language, religion, rituals, behaviors, and beliefs of their character.