Comprehension Check: Visual Assessment of Books One and Two of A Tale of Two Cities

Print Lesson


SWBAT demonstrate their comprehension of literature at the high end of their grade level band by providing written analysis of illustrations from the book.

Big Idea

Pausing to check in on if they're understanding their reading and if they can comment on the significance of certain scenes, characters or symbols before all of the big reveals in Book Three.

Integrated Review Activity

45 minutes

Since we ran out of time yesterday, my teaching partner and I set aside a much larger portion of time today to help the students make explicit connections between our content areas today.

To do this, they will be filling in a chart with information about the French Revolution and A Tale of Two Cities as they follow Crane Briton's revolutionary model. My teaching partner over viewed this yesterday through a lecture and notes. Today, we will give them a list of significant events from the French Revolution and have them categorize these events using the six stages of Briton's model.

We are only to the fall of the old order in the novel, so I will ask the students to fill in as much as they can in the Tale column using what they've read so far and tell them that we will work on this chart again next week when we've seen more of the revolution in the novel.


Tale of Two Cities Visual Quiz

45 minutes

To assess their comprehension of books one and two of Tale, I will show them a set of ten images and ask them to do a written analysis of each. I find this to be a great assessment of their comprehension because I'm not just asking them to answer basic questions, but rather asking them to look at how an artist represents key ideas/characters and then do some analysis of the text based on those images (CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.7).

I borrowed this idea from a peer in my common course team because I really like how it challenges the students to think more abstractly about the text, but also gives me an opportunity to gauge their comprehension of a very complex text that they have had to read largely on their own (CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.10). They had a few chapters that they read over our winter break, so the bulk of the images are from chapters 21-24 of book two of Tale, but I included what I think are significant images from earlier in the book too, either because of their foreshadowing or symbolic importance to the book as a whole. As stated on the first slide, I will be asking the students to write on two things (CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.9-10.4):

  1. What is significant about this image in regards to the scene, character or event represented and it's impact on the development of the story?
  2. Why did I chose this image in particular (i.e. symbolic significance, etc.)?

I anticipate that it will take about 3-4 minutes per slide to write with the detail I am going to ask them to write with. I told them yesterday that they may use their timelines from first semester to help them with this quiz. For some students, this will be a greater help that for others based on the level of detail they included on their timelines. I'm hoping that will be a reminder that they need to put forth their full effort on things because they never know when they'll have to use that information again.


10 minutes

This section of class will likely bleed over from the quiz, but I want to make sure that the students have a least a few, if not the typical ten, minutes to read either their choice novels or the two chapters from Tale that are due tomorrow in class.

Wrap up and Next Steps

5 minutes

In an effort to connect all our thinking from the week, from the revolutionary song analysis, to Briton's cycles of revolution information, to the French Revolution review to our past and current reading of Tale, we will take the last few minutes of class to do an informal, oral check in on understanding. I will ask the students to offer some ideas about how all of these things connect.

I'm hoping that at the very least, they will get the concrete connections between the book and the history, but I am also hoping that they might see some of the thematic connections as evidenced in the songs, Briton's theories and what we've been studying.