Every Detail Matters: The Slave Narrative

7 teachers like this lesson
Print Lesson


SWBAT infer what the text is saying, both implicitly and explicitly, and support their inferences with text support.

Big Idea

How does our schema influence the way we read text?

Warm Up

10 minutes

On Students' Warm Ups page, they will answer the question, "What role does language/writing have on recording history, both your personal history and the history of our world?"


I ask students this question because I want them to think about language as a way to record history in a very pure way.  I am going to lead them to consider twitter, Facebook, note writing, journals, etc. as ways to to record their own history and the history of society.  After writing for 3-4 minutes, students will discuss their answers to the prompt at tables (SL.9-10.1a, W.9-10.10).   I will ask a table spokesperson/scribe to record their table thinking on the board. Validating students' thoughts is an important task in my classroom.  I often ask students to record what their classmates are saying.  



Mini Lesson

10 minutes

In today's mini lesson, I will model close reading strategies for theme analysis.  We'll begin by reviewing our Deep reading anchor chart and I'll ask them to turn their attention to the Slave Narrative I handed to them as they entered class.  I chose to use a section from Chapter 3 of Solomon Northup's Slave Narrative Twelve Years A Slave.  The entire narrative can be found here.  Using the Smart Board, I will create a TwelveYears Dialectical Journal. It is important that students are able to identify important details from a text and explain how those details shape the theme (RI 9-10.1).  Although the dialectical journal is an antiquated practice, it is certainly applicable in this analysis practice.   As I read the first 2 paragraphs, I'll stop and model my analysis reading voice.  In other words, I stop anytime I have a thought pop into my head.  I want students to get used to thinking about text and annotating those thoughts rather than just going through the motions of reading it.  This process will help students determine the central theme and analyze its development over the course of the text (RI.9-10.2).  I'll record details on the left hand side of the chart. After recording details, students will help me identify commonalities among the details and then we will begin adding our thinking on the right hand side.  


Student Work Time

20 minutes

Student work time is my favorite part of any lesson.  Since I became Workshop Model teacher,  I really try to hold true to the Workshop Model timing and only give direct instruction for 1/3 of the class.  The rest of our time together is devoted to students demonstrating knowledge of the common core concepts and objectives.   

During student work time, students are working on building their dialectical journals over the remaining portion of the text. I will conference with each table group or individual student to assure their journals are building toward analysis. Sometimes I group students by ability, but most often, it is random.  However, I do change groups very often to allow students multiple opportunities to practice having adult-like conversations with their a variety of their peers.   During the conference time, I will listen for evidence of students identifying significant details, categorizing those details and then making inferences based on the text (RI 9-10.1, RI.9-10.2). To assure that students are diving into multiple parts of the text, I am going to require students to have 2 dialectical entries per paragraph.   



5 minutes

With 5 minutes left in class, students participate in a gallery walk looking at their classmates' charts. I tell students that tomorrow's lesson will be looking for commonality between the Northup's Narrative and Beah's Memoir.