Students begin class with their homework on their desk. They were asked to connect the drawings and quotes from yesterday's class to bigger ideas and predictions. I told them to write whatever they could think of, as long as it references textual evidence. I also said that the ideas didn't have to connect to each other; therefore, they could bullet their ideas.
As I walk around checking the homework, we will begin a discussion about the setting in chapter 1. I will ask a student to bullet our main points on the board as people share what they wrote for homework, so that I can continue checking the homework. I multitask to save time: the students need their homework as a reference, so I don't want to collect it, but I do want to check for completion and understanding and I want to get the class started right away. Also, because I'm reading as we are talking, I can engage some students who may not speak up because I know what they have written. As we add ideas on the board, I will ask everyone to add bullets to their homework when someone brings up something that they don't have. When all our ideas are on the board, I will ask students to focus on diction and syntax, two literary terms that they added to the list in their notebooks. I will ask the students to connect their ideas to the words and phrases from the chapter that help them come to certain conclusions. I do this because it will help us focus on more useful ideas that arise. Not all their ideas from the homework will be correct; focusing on diction and syntax will drive them back into the text and will strengthen the discussion (RL.9-10.1).
I anticipate that the students will be able to maintain a fairly thorough discussion on the setting of chapter 1, but that they won't connect their ideas directly back to the text, even though they have four quotes on their worksheet from yesterday's class. The last step of this intro activity highlights the importance of textual evidence and reminds students that it is a key element for all of our discussions.
On the projector, I will quickly show a few photos of the marshes, a gibbet, and the Hulks to solidify understanding.
Even though we spent a significant amount of time yesterday imagining the scenes, it is always helpful to show actual photos and professional sketches. It helps them accurately visualize the setting and characters (RL.9-10.6).
We will read chapter 2 in class, focusing on character development and point of view. I will do most of the reading aloud, so that I can stop at appropriate moments. In chapter 2, we meet both vile Mrs. Joe and her husband, heartwarming Joe, but it's important to remember that we are meeting them through the eyes of a young boy, intermixed with adult Pip's reflections (RL.9-10.3). In order to highlight this fact, I will refer back to their life map reflections, where they too were asked to write about an early experience of their life from their current perspective; life looks different with age. I will also ask them to remember a time when they tried to get away with something, like feeding their vegetables to the dog, since Pip is trying to steal food for the convict. These personal connections will help them identify with Pip, especially in the scene where he is trying to steal food. The description in the text sounds strange-- he sticks the bread "down his leg" and Joe thinks he "bolts" his food-- but the scene is familiar.
Throughout the reading, students will keep a double-entry journal; on one side they will write key quotes from the chapter and on the other, they will write their analysis of it. I will be sure to stop reading at key moments, so that they can write for a few minutes. Here's a quick clip.
I plan to spend the last couple of minutes reminding the class that this is a difficult text that requires an active and persistent reader. I want to give them as much positive feedback as I can at the beginning, so that they are motivated to continue. I will reward their hard work with a night off from homework! It is Halloween after all...