The Answer to a Question: Analyzing Important Quotes in Chapters 16 and 17

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SWBAT cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text by analyzing specific quotes and making comparisons between characters.

Big Idea

Biddy knows who hurt Mrs. Joe. Do you?

Note to Teacher

I am out sick during this class and left this assignment for the students to complete.

Reading Chapter 16 and Analyzing a Quote

30 minutes

Chapter 16 is relatively short-- only about four pages-- but significant. In this chapter, Mrs. Joe gives indications as to who hurt her and Biddy figures it out the mystery. I have left instructions with the substitute that students should read this chapter independently, pick any quote from it that they find significant, and write a short response explaining their choice (RL.9-10.1). The students are familiar with this format, since we have been practicing it since the beginning of the year. Although we are still developing our analysis skills, they know that a quote that reveals character, mood, or theme can be considered significant, and that as long as they can argue one of those three, they can pick just about any lines from the chapter. I have two samples here.

I like this format, first because it reinforces close-reading skills and encourages them to read the chapter with more focus and purpose. Also, our consistent practice of this model is perfect for days like this, when I don't feel well. Without too much work or confusion, I can leave a meaningful lesson that they feel confident about completing.

Reading 17 and Completing a Venn Diagram

20 minutes

I am also asking students to read chapter 17, while I am out. It is eight pages, which is still manageable, especially since they will be reading silently. Pip has an important conversation with Biddy in this chapter, one which the students will want to remember, once we reach the end of the text. Therefore, I am going to ask that, when students finish the chapter, they complete a Venn Diagram that compares Biddy to Estella. In many ways, Pip mentally does this throughout this chapter, but our understanding of these two characters-- or at least, Estella-- is very different from Pip's.

The details of our Venn Diagram will help us analyze these girls low-term, as they grow and change, and as Pip does (RL.9-10.3). If done well, the details may also help us determine theme, since both girls are representative of social hierarchy (RL.9-10.2).

Wrapping Up

5 minutes

I will ask that the substitute collect their work at the end of the period, so that I can check in the morning when I come back. Their homework is to read chapter 18 and to write a letter to Mr. Dickens. They can tell him that they like and dislike about the novel so far; they can also make predictions and suggestions to him.