Non-Fiction Literary Analysis Work Day

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SWBAT spend time crafting a lead and thesis for their non-fiction literary analysis.

Big Idea

Students will understand the concept "literary analysis." They'll write their thesis statements and leads.

Reading Log Highlight & Check-In

20 minutes

Whenever possible, I begin my lessons with silent, independent reading. During this time, I actively monitor their reading progress by checking their out-of-class reading logs and engaging in reading conferences that cover a variety of topics.


To find ways to enact this section, please see my strategy folder.

What is a Literary Analysis?

10 minutes

What is a non-fiction literary analysis?

I start by posting this question on the board. One thing I've realized is that my district uses very advanced terminology for the tasks they require for students. Most of them have little background knowledge on a term like literary analysis, which comes directly from the Common Core.

We unpack the word analysis. What word are we familiar with that is hidden inside of the word analysis? Students find the word analyze. At their tables, I ask them to discuss what it means to analyze something. My list changes from group to group, but usually the list looks something like this:

analyze: to figure out, understand, apply your thinking, read closely, examine

I post this list on the board. Then I say, okay, based on our understanding of the word analyze, we're now going to figure out what a literary analysis could be. Kids usually make the jump on their own. It must mean we're doing all of those things to a text. Probably a non-fiction text.

Then I ask, can we analyze a text with a purpose?  The response is yes. I point to the rubric. With what purpose are we analyzing this text? I point to the reading standard. Students understand that we are analyzing the text for author's purpose and point of view. We are now ready to being our analysis work.



Teacher Model Intro Paragraph

15 minutes

Then I model the first paragraph of a non-fiction literary analysis using a text that students are familiar with. I used a text that didn't have a strong voice, which was very difficult.

Here is my sample:

Non-Fiction Literary Analysis Teacher Sample (Paragraph 1)

We discuss that students can choose to use either their Newsela article or their NYT article, "The Day My Son Went Missing," for their non-fiction literary analysis, both having to do with autism.

Independent Work Time: Type Analysis

30 minutes

I give students the final thirty minutes to start working on their non-fiction literary analysis. Based on my sample, and the fact that we've spent a few days preparing, many students wrote fabulous leads. I've attached some student samples:

Student Sample: Lead and First Paragraph

Student Sample: Engaging Lead

Student Sample: Engaging Lead

About twenty minutes in, I paused for a "gallery walk." Students left their laptops open and meandered around the room to read other students' leads. The movement break was helpful; its also helpful for all people to see living, breathing work samples of their classmates.