Deconstructing Two Cities: Plot Review and Analysis Workshop (Day 2 of 2)

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SWBAT analyze and discuss the structure of A Tale of Two Cities by working with a small group to determine what Dickens is doing and why he is doing what he is doing.

Big Idea

A Tale of Two Cities jumps from city to city. It's time to figure out why.

History Final and SSR

55 minutes

Our class period will be split into two "finals" periods today. My history partner will be giving a traditional end of unit test for his French Revolution unit. We anticipate that this multiple choice and short answer test will take an entire half of our block. Whatever time they have remaining, I will ask them to read silently.

Review of Timeline Creation Requirements

10 minutes

Once they've finished their history exam, I will let them stand up and stretch, then ask them to join their Faulkner squares to complete the second half of their timeline review. Yesterday they worked on events and ideas from France. Today they be analyzing events and ideas from London.

I will do a quick review of expectations (i.e. sections of the text to include, details to pay attention to, what to write down) before I send them to work independently.

Since we are in an awkward part of the text for anything cumulative, this activity will serve as their  final exam for my class for the semester.

Location 2: Timeline Creation

35 minutes

Similar to yesterday's class, students will be working together to deconstruct Dickens' disjointed plot to lay out what happens in a more chronological and location specific way. After the break, we are going to dive into Dickens' purpose for creating such a disjointed storyline and analyze the mystery and tension that it creates, so today and yesterday's activities are meant to prepare students for those discussions once we reconvene in January.

As this is their final activity for the semester, I will be giving them a grade on their ability to participate effectively in their collaborative teams. To do this, I will be monitoring their decision making and critical conversations (CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.9-10.1b) as they work on their timelines. I will circulate the room to watch them work and to offer assistance if I need to.

Exit Slip and Final Thoughts for Semester One

10 minutes

To get a sense of their individual abilities as well as their ability to work with their teams, I will also do an exit slip asking them to provide some commentary about why Dickens does what he does stylistically. I will ask them to write a short response about his style and his purpose so that I can read and grade these written responses in addition to their timelines to gauge their ability to analyze Dickens' choices to include these parallel plot lines and what effect those choices have (CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.5). As I mentioned in the last section, I don't expect them to fully comprehend the impact of Dickens' choices, but I will also use their responses to figure out where I need to go next as the teacher to help them get to that level of analysis/comprehension.

At the end of the class period, I will make sure to save a little bit of time to thank them for a great semester and to remind them of their very short reading assignment over the break. I will also encourage them to take time to rest and rejuvenate over the holiday so that we can jump right back in when we return to school in January.