As a way of reviewing what my students read on their own over the break, I will read and discuss the final chapter of book two with them. I am choosing to read this letter out loud for a couple of reasons. First, as we ease back into the book, I think students will need a little more structure and scaffolded discussion. Second, this chapter represents a critical shift in the focus of the novel's plot. I want to make sure that students are aware of this shift and to have the opportunity to predict what it will mean later in the novel.
I will start this reading by asking them to tell me what has been happening in France in the novel (i.e. the storming of the Bastille and the overthrow of the aristocracy). As they have finished studying the French Revolution, I am going to hold them specifically accountable to identifying how Dickens draws on historical events as source material from this significant time period (CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.9). I will then read and pause to ask them questions.
My hope with this is that they will see how the two story lines are about to merge as two of our most significant characters leave England for France. I will talk to them about how Dickens includes the ghost of the Monseigneur to indicate the symbolic death of his way of living in France and talk to them about why Tellson's Bank has become so important as a connecting thread in the story. I will randomly call on students to offer their interpretations of things (CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.9-10.1) and encourage students to be taking notes on their book one and two timelines (final activity from semester one) because they will be able to use these notes on the reading quiz tomorrow as they will be asked to pull specific textual detail into their written responses (CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.1).
Depending on how much time it takes to read chapter 24 out loud, I will give them the remainder of my half of the period to read silently. They need to be through book three, chapters one and two by Friday, but also have a quiz over books one and two tomorrow, so they can also use this time to review.
My teaching partner and I are going to try to keep the last five minutes of the entire block (so both of our halves) to give reminders and or to make more explicit connections between our content areas. This is a bold (and likely foolish) attempt as we usually are working right up until the bell, but I think it will be good for students to be constantly thinking about their transfer of knowledge from one class to the other.
Today we will ask them to consider the themes of revolutions discussed in yesterday's music activities and ask if there are any apparent overlaps with the novel.