To begin this lesson, I have students take out a sheet of scratch paper and get into their groups. Their task is to create a list of all of lies Tom told in the novel and all of the tricks he played on others.
I display the slide with their instructions and a list of events to get them going. If I had an advanced class, I would think about eliminating some of the events from the "events to think about" and have them find more on their own from the text.
I give students about 15 minutes to work together to create this list. I tell them that their list should have at least 15 events, and maybe even 20. By setting the bar high, it pushes them to think through the entire novel and shuts down all of the, "How many..." questions!
Once the brainstorming time is up, it's time for them to do a little organizing on their own.
This is when I hand out the Prewriting Graphic Organizer.
Before students begin, I say to the class, "Now that we have a pretty good list of all of the lies and tricks Tom pulled during the novel, we're going to classify them. What do I mean when I say, 'classify'?"
I usually get responses along the lines of, "put them in order" or "organize them" or "put them in groups." I tell my students that they're all correct. Classifying is all of these things.
I then tell them they have the rest of the period to complete the first two columns on each chart, using the list they created with their group. I display the third slide so that they remember what they should be doing.
I collect the prewriting at the end of class. I will not be grading it; however, I want to preview it to make sure they're on the right track. It is so much easier to help a floundering student during the prewriting process than it is once they are drafting or, heaven forbid, done with their essay!
Tomorrow I will return their papers, and we will use the information on the graphic organizer to begin to shape a thesis statement and an outline.