Literature Circle #3: Holden On His Own

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SWBAT participate in a collaborative discussion of Chapters 11-16 of "Catcher in the Rye", having prepared their contribution to the literature circle with a focus on Holden Caulfield's reactions to the adult world.

Big Idea

How do you act when you're alone? Are you different from the "public you"?

Introduction & Welcome: Happy "Ice Cream & Violins Day!"

3 minutes

As students settle in at the bell, I wish them a "Happy Ice Cream and Violins Day," and let them know...I have no idea why they're combined, either. I ask if anyone in class has a guess, before we transition to the literature circle discussion for the day. I also ask students to take any remaining time today to complete their Board Game Design Brief, so I can provide feedback and they can make any needed changes (see lesson: "Board Game Project: Introduction & Planning").

As always, Daily Holidays are a way to build a sense of community in class. Additionally, as we have seen Holden tell some pretty big lies as we have read, the "Ice Cream and Violins" prompt can get them thinking about some creative story-telling of their own.

As a transition, I ask students to consider how they react to adults, and if they see any similarities between themselves and Holden, just in this aspect, and discuss this in their groups.

Literature Circle Discussion Day

45 minutes

As noted, students will discuss the big idea of differences in the public and private persona today; the public Holden as he portrays himself is very different from the private Holden who reveals himself in the narration. A big idea question such as this helps focus the students and, along with different students' perspectives on each roles, provide variety for the students from lit circle discussion to lit circle discussion. The responses to their literature circle assignments should reflect Holden's development. Students especially focus on how he relates to other characters, develops the plot of the story through his actions, and reveals the themes through his relationships and interactions: adulthood/growing up, elitism/prejudice, and trust (RL.9-10.3).

After a brief reminder of the order of and direction for sharing their role assignments (see "Catching On To Holden: Independent SSR and Role Assignments"), students are free to move into their groups and begin their discussion on Holden Caulfield. Today, students share their group activities. The Discussion Director, Connector, and Character Sorter present strong and thorough textual support in order to analyse the Holden's characterization in novel and draw inferences about him from their reading (RL.9-10.1), students who have completed the Illustrator role present inferences from the novel in order to illustrate a scene or concept (again, RL.9-10.1) and students who have completed the Vocab Finder role will present the definition of words in context, verifying the meaning of terms from the vocab list and using the terms appropriately (RL.9-10.4). Students participate in a collaborative discussion, sharing their work and responding to each other to build on ideas and express their own clearly and persuasively (SL.9-10.1). Students have prepared for discussions by reading the assigned sections of the novel and  draw on that preparation by using evidence from the novel in their role assignments in order to stimulate a thoughtful, well-reasoned exchange of ideas (SL.9-10.1a) . In these discussions, the assigned roles, especially “Discussion Director,” allow students to propel conversations by posing and responding to questions that relate the current discussion to broader themes or larger ideas (SL.9-10.1c). Through sharing their ideas and responses to the role assignments, students  respond thoughtfully to diverse perspectives and justify their own views and understanding, making new connections in light of the ideas their peers present (SL.9-10.1d). Students draw from their previous discussions and individual reading to move the discussion forward.

As students discuss their understanding of Holden, I circulate the room to monitor their progress and conversation, especially focusing on vocabulary (student work samples); the results from the last quiz showed misunderstanding of multiple-meaning words. Students are presented with the list of vocabulary words to understand (Vocab List), for which they consult a reference for definition of a vocabulary word (L.9-10.4c), identify how the word is used in context (L.9-10.4a), and verify its usage to instruct their group in its meaning (L.9-10.4d).  After they have completed their discussions, I ask students to turn their work in the the group's assigned folder, and plan for and work on their board game projects until all groups are done. 

Students are working in groups to test themselves and each other, exchange ideas and gain a deeper understanding of the novel, and collaborate on the final board game product. Along the way, I can provide guidance and clarification, but the primary impact is for students to take ownership of the material and product. 

Once all groups have completed their discussions, I open the floor for any questions and discussions the students may have regarding the novel so far. 

Two-Minute Warning: Wrap Up & Reminders

2 minutes

If I have not already done so as groups complete their discussion, with two minutes remaining, I call the students back into rows, ask for their group folders, and open the floor for any discussion. I remind students that our next class will be a literature circle work day. 

With student end times varying depending on group discussions, there is not an exit activity today.

I have cut the wrap-up time down to two minutes, as students are in the routine of cleaning up and returning to their seats following a literature circle.