Before today's lesson, students need to have read chapters 13-16 and completed a set of Cornell Notes based on the events in the chapter. The Essential Question for these notes is "What are the important events in chapters 13-16 in The Adventures of Tom Sawyer?"
I have assigned this as an out-of-class assignment (the dreaded "h-word") and I have used this quiet reading time as a paper-grading day for myself. Either way works; however, you will find that students are more apt to get the reading done if they're doing it in class.
Because I have assigned the reading for chapters 13-16 outside of class (or independently during the previous class), I begin today's lesson with a quick reading comprehension quiz. Though this does end up being a "gotcha" moment for some of my students, the true intent is to make sure they understood the basic events in these chapters.
Since the students have created Cornell Notes, I allow them to use the notes for the quiz.
I do not allow students to use their books during this quiz.
If their notes are incomplete and/or they haven't read, I will have them listen to my explanation of the reading strategy and then create their maps while they are reading the chapter.
After everyone is done with the quiz, we very quickly trade papers and correct it. This serves two purposes: students very quickly find out how they did and remember any details they missed and I don't have to correct them!
I then ask my students, "Who had trouble keeping track of where the boys were and what they were doing?" Usually, a few students will raise their hands. I will call on one of those students and ask them why it was difficult. Sometimes the first answer is the one I'm fishing for: The boys move around a lot in this chapter." However, because I teach middle school, I've heard everything from "I didn't understand the words" to "My sister kept bothering me while I was reading."
If no one mentions the movement of the characters, I will turn it on myself and say, "Whenever I'm reading something where the characters are travelling, I get confused pretty quickly. Today, we're going to talk about a reading strategy you can use to help you."
You can have students do this on lined notebook paper or on white copy paper. If you need a display for a wall, this is a great one to put up! Have students take some extra time to color their maps after class.
As a class, we create a map of the major settings of this novel. We draw Aunt Polly's house, the Mississippi River, and Jackson's Island. We then add arrows to show the boys' movements. When we are done, our map looks basically like this:
I then hand out a copy of the assignment to each student. Since they do not need to write on these, I make only a single class set to be used by all of my classes.
Some groups of students do very well working through this assignment on their own, while others need some guidance. There are some classes where I just walk around and monitor and some where we go through the steps together. You know your students best.
To end today's class, I have my students turn their maps over and write a reflective paragraph in response to the prompt on the handout.
I then collect the assignment to use as a formative assessment. I want to be sure my students are able to articulate how and when to use an interactive map in their reading.