Pip Meets the Pale Young Gentleman: The Tone Shift in Chapter 11

1 teachers like this lesson
Print Lesson


SWBAT analyze the cumulative impact of specific word choices on meaning and tone by using Readers Theatre scripts to read and discuss chapter 11.

Big Idea

Dickens sets the tone. We enjoy it. Why?


10 minutes

For the first ten minutes of class, we learn the new vocab words for this week: expedite, inadvertent, tenuous, and the difference between lose and loose. You can find more information about my vocabulary strategies here.

Today's words are significant because they are the last of the month, which means that we have a quiz at the end of the week. Once I give this week's words, we will spend a few minutes practicing all the words that will be on the quiz. For instance, I will ask for sentences that use "expedite" and "commiserate" correctly. I always ask my students to use the words in a sentence, as opposed to just to providing the definition because that doesn't prove understanding (L.9-10.4).

Reader's Theatre of Chapter 11

45 minutes

I carefully select the chapters for which we use Reader's Theater; Chapter 11 is one of those chapters for several reasons. First, it is a longer chapter and employing several voices-- one for each character, plus the narrator-- helps to actively include more students, as they clip shows. There's more on how and I do reader's theater here.

Second, several new characters are introduced and need a voice, in addition to many previously introduced characters. These characters develop throughout the course of the novel, and these initial chapters help us understand future events (RL.9-10.3). The pale young gentleman, for instance, becomes Pip's roommate when Pip moves to London and serves as a good example, and at times a moral compass, for him.

While reading, we will focus on tone, which is really a focus on diction; in this lesson we will focus on Dickens' diction specifically regarding character names. We started our discussion on tone with chapter 10. Once we read chapter 11, we will compare the two. I want students to understand that specific word choices determine character and attitude (RL.9-10.4). The initial discussion of chapter 11 will be informal. We will stop intermittently in the reading to discuss what we think about certain characters, such as Raymond, and what calling him Mr. Camilla suggests about him. Also, in previous discussions, my students had many questions about why Mrs. Joe is only ever referred to by her husband's name, so this is a good chance to discuss what it implies when a wife loses her name as opposed to when a husband does.

The next step will be determined by how successful this discussion is, but I suspect that we will complete a tone worksheet after reading, and then complete a Venn Diagram comparing chapters 10 and 11.

Wrapping Up

5 minutes

Before the students pack up, I will remind them to continue reading their outside book of choice for homework. They will be writing a long composition for these books the week after Thanksgiving; they are expected to pace themselves as they need to in order to be ready at that time. We are working on time management skills, so while I remind them, I am not enforcing certain pages a night or formal assessments until then.