What Does It Mean To Be Human: Gathering Text Evidence (2 of 2)

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SWBAT Identify the theme and analyze how the theme is shaped by specific details of a text by using answer stems to explain a theme.

Big Idea

Can two texts about different subjects share the same theme?

Warm Up

5 minutes

Each Tuesday, our warm up is Term Tuesday.  This week, we will be evaluating a group of root words.  First semester, students study 5 new root words per week. The Standards tell us that students need to determine or clarify the meanings of unknown words, and I think studying roots is an excellent place to begin.  I list the roots on the Smart Board and students have 5 minutes to come up with derivatives of the root and make a prediction about the root's meaning.  I used to just give them the definition of the root, but I have found that they really work to deduct meaning if I don't just feed it to them. The Standards explain that students should consult specialized reference materials so students consult our classroom dictionaries and/or their phones or ipads to research derivatives and definitions (L 9-10 4.c). 

I will create an anchor chart with our 5 roots and students will add derivatives that they find in their reading throughout the week.  This helps students not learn vocabulary in isolation, but rather continue to build that vocabulary within everyday language.  



Mini Lesson

5 minutes

Today's class is an extension of yesterday's lesson.  

I will begin class asking students to get out their Long Way Gone excerpt, Twelve Years A Slave excerpt, their  Note Card Anchor Chart and their Thematic Folders.  I will read the following section from Twelve Years A Slave:

"At last I became silent to his repeated questions. I would make no reply. In fact, I was becoming almost unable to speak. Still he plied the lash without stint upon my poor body, until it seemed that the lacerated flesh was stripped from my bones at every stroke. A man with a particle of mercy in his soul would not have beaten even a dog so cruelly."

On the board, I will list details from the text that help me trace the theme (RI.9-10.1, RI.9-10.2) I will ask for the students' help when categorizing these details and drawing conclusions about their overall meaning to the text (W.9-10.2).  I will explain that the quote illuminates the theme of silence.  I will model a note card.  

FRONT:  In the text, it explains that Solomon "became silent to his repeated question." He explains he "was becoming almost unable to speak." 

BACK:  This quote from the text demonstrates the theme of silence because earlier in the excerpt Solomon refuses to be silent and, in fact, is very loud.  It is only after a severe beating that Solomon is forced into silence by force.  

The theme folders with notecards idea came from a lesson I saw on Pinterest a few years ago.  I've adapted it to meet the needs of my students.  I love the idea of students being able to lay out all of their notecards and see the evidence they have collected.  

Student Work Time

25 minutes

Students will be instructed to complete 2 note cards for each text, Long Way Gone and Twelve Years A Slave.  I will assess students by walking around and checking their note cards.  This work time will allow me the opportunity to conference with each student by reading at least one note card.  I will ask students to show me the card they are having the most trouble with and the card they are most proud of.  I really want to spend some time and make sure students are completing these cards well.  If I spend a lot of time building their confidence now, then we will be able to move forward.  


5 minutes

For closure on today's lesson, I am going to ask students to chose the card they are most proud of and share it with a partner.  This will give students an opportunity to hear what their peers are saying about each theme.