Style Study: Tale of Two Cities Book 3 Chapters 3-5 Quotation Analysis

Print Lesson


SWBAT continue to apply knowledge of how language functions to comprehend their reading by analyzing specific quotes for use of syntax and figurative language.

Big Idea

Adding to our work with A Tale of Two Cities book 3, chapters 1 and 2, students will create style posters adding additional quotes from chapters 3-5 of the novel.


10 minutes

We will return to our regular ten minutes of reading time today. I don't know that we will always do it at the beginning of class, but I am excited to return to this structure for second semester.

Review of Poster Creation Requirements (Plus a Few Bonus Additions)

10 minutes

Last Friday, I introduced this activity with minimal success. It may have been due to the timing (the first Friday of the first week of school after a break), it may have been my instruction or it may have been the task at hand that caused the students to struggle. In any case, today we are going to try again.

I will give them instructions, but I will draw a model poster on the board so that they can see what I am hoping they will be able to do. I will use the same instructions (listed below) I gave on Friday as well as a few additional requirements (in italics below) so that students are held accountable for their reading (chapters three, four and five) from the weekend. 

Poster Requirements:

  1. Read and analyze the quote given to their group using their books to find context and their groups to decide meaning. 
  2. Define the terms assigned to each quote using the Writers INC books. I will remind them in this step to make sure the definitions are in their own words.
  3. Determine what kind of syntax/sentences Dickens is using in this passage and add to their term definitions these specific examples of syntax.
  4. Create a poster that includes their quote, their definitions and brief statements/annotations that indicate how all of these things connect.
  5. Find additional quotes (one per chapter from book three, chapters three through five) that exemplify the devices you have defined. Write out the quote and provide a brief analysis of how this quote is an example of the device you are highlighting.

These posters are meant to be class resources for developing academic language for describing style (CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.9-10.6). Additionally, I am going to use them later in the week as a basis for in class writing/analysis of Dickens' purpose and style in the book as a whole (CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.9-10.5a). 


Style Poster Creation/Comprehension Assistance

30 minutes

Once we've reviewed the instructions and my board model, I will ask students to get into their Faulkner Squares and continue their work from Friday (CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.9-10.1). I will provide them with poster paper, markers and the Writers INC resource books to assist their efforts. They will have 30 minutes to complete these posters.

To try something new with the comprehension, I will offer an additional bit of assistance today as well. While they are working, I will invite students to leave me questions about their reading homework on the back boards along with their initials so I know who to go chat with specifically. I am going to do this because I worry that some of my students are not getting as much individual attention as they need to comprehend the book as deeply as they want to. This is for my students who are reading and getting it, but are maybe getting stuck in Dickens' cumbersome style. I also need to monitor my pacing a little bit more, so I am hoping that by taking away any opportunity that I might have to stand up and talk at them, they will be able to work on their posters AND get the help they might need as I wander around to have specific conversations with them.

Once I've answered these questions, I will continue to circulate the room to assist or push my students to dive deeper into their analysis.

Wrap up and Next Steps

5 minutes

At the end of class, I will ask them to clean up their work spaces and give me their (hopefully completed) posters. I will remind them that they have reading due on Thursday and ask if they have any lingering questions about the activity or the reading.