As often happens, class begins by allowing students to review the previous day’s homework (finish reading the story, mark up the text, and answer the Comprehension Questions) in small groups. They were to finish reading the short story The Sound of Summer Running by Ray Bradbury, mark up places in the text that were challenging, interesting, or important. Chatting with one another, the students have a chance to get back into the topic before we move on to something new.
This is a good time to circulate around the room to check in on how well the assignment is completed. It does not take long to realize that a number of students did not mark up the text as expected. Sometimes there’s underlining or highlight but no note or description why that passage was deemed worthy of their attention, so I make an announcement to the whole class reminding them of this expectation. The good news is they are getting better at it.
To be sure that students fully understand how the story ends, we reread it together, starting where we left off the day before. Now, it may seem odd that we do this after reviewing the comprehension questions, but remember their usefulness is to reintroduce the events of the story. This time through we stop quite often and discuss how the text is marked up. What questions do you have? What’s interesting about that? Why is that important?
All the while, keep in mind that an important objective for this series of lessons is to identify how the main characters’ actions are linked to their motives. Do this by continuing to ask probing questions. What does this person want? How do you know?
By completing the Literary Focus: Character’s Motives worksheet, students gain valuable experience working with text to uncover the two main character’s motives and connect them to their actions. Start with guided practice and then move onto small group or independent work for Parts A and B. For a few tips on approaching this task take a look at this video: