It's Time to Determine a Central Idea of Black Boy and How it is Defined by Specific Details

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SWBAT make predictions about the theme(s) of Black Boy by using evidence from text.

Big Idea

What messages are Richard Wright giving the reader?


10 minutes

A Summary

Based on what they've read so far, I want students to summarize Richards life up to six years old.  In order for them to do this they will need to analyze how Richard Wright unfolds a series of ideas or events, including the order in which they are made, RI.9-10.3.  Later in the lesson I will ask them to look at the connections between these events to help determine theme. 

I ask students to scan over what they've read so far in Chapter 1 and in their journals summarize or list the events in Richard’s life up to the age of six after which they will share with a partner.   I will then ask for a volunteer to read his or hers to the class.

Building Knowledge

20 minutes

Think Aloud

Think Aloud is a teaching strategy that I use to model how to think about what you are reading.  I first write the thinking strategy "connecting new information to background knowledge" on the board.

I then tell students that I will model the reading strategy making connections by reading from page the line from 26, “But no sooner had the preacher arrived than I began to recent him, for like my father he was used to having his own way.”   I make sure that every student is entirely clear about the meaning and purpose of the strategy. I then use the Think Aloud process to demonstrate the strategy by saying aloud, "Richard is probably going to do something that will get him in trouble because that's what happened when got back his father by killing the kitten." We then discuss what happened during the meal with the preacher and the outcome of Richards resentment towards the preacher and his constant need for food.

Next, I ask students to read another passage and use the connecting new information to background knowledge strategy. I move around the classroom, assisting students who appear confused by the exercise.

I then pass out the theme graphic organizer and discuss possible themes or central ideas in Chapter 1 by referring students to the list of events they compiled during the Activator.  I explain that some students have not completed reading the chapter and that there are other important experiences Richard had that they will read and use to consider theme.


Student Learning Activity

35 minutes

Students read the remainder of Chapter 1 either independently or with a partner while annotating and citing evidence for central ideas. Students will then fill out the theme template.

I circulate among the students answering questions and keeping them on task.


Wrap Up

10 minutes

Ticket to Leave: I pick 2-3 students by picking names from a "hat" with pieces of paper and initials on them, to state one Central Idea and describe why using textual evidence.