We will start today with a pop quiz on their reading from last night: the end of chapter 40 and chapter 41.
The quiz itself will be very simple; students merely need to write 5 things they remember from the reading. I'm not trying to trick students or stump them. I merely want to reward the readers in the class who always do their homework and highlight the importance of active reading to those who don't. A quiz is the best way to do this.
I love reading this chapter together as a class because some of the puzzle pieces are put into place, as Magwich tells some of his story. We learn why he was on the marshes that might when he found Pip and why he was fighting the other convict (RL.9-10.3). Even before we begin reading, I tell the class that this is a really good chapter. I remind them the Dickens has left us wondering about a lot of people and events in the story and it's time that he starts giving us some answers! This message usually gets them excited to read, which is critical because it's getting to the point where we are ready for another book. Thankfully the third section of this text is much more exciting that the second.
I don't give specific reading instructions for this chapter because I know that we going to stop often in the reading, as students figure out all the connections between Magwich and Compeyson and Miss Havisham. At some points, we will stop every few paragraphs because new information is unveiled rather quickly, considering how long Dickens have left us waiting up until this point. Normally, I am the one who stops the reading to ask questions, but I expect that during this reading, the students will stop the reading. I expect light bulb moments and I can't wait for some students to figure it out, so they can be the ones to inform the others.
Like yesterday, we will discuss aspects of the text and make conclusions, even though there are no definitive answers. For instance, what happened to Arthur? Did he hallucinate and die from stress? Or did Miss Havisham actually haunt him at night, which caused him to die from fright? These are great questions because there is evidence in the text to support either argument (RL.9-10.1); it's up to the students to decide (SL.9-10.1d). But here's how the conversation generally starts.
I will assign the homework in the last few minutes of class:
Write a letter or conversation to Miss Havisham and Estella from Pip's point of view. What should he say to them? (W.9-10.3a)
This assignment will prepare them for the next chapter, when Pip returns to Satis House.