Group Thesis Statements: Reflecting on Chapter 44

1 teachers like this lesson
Print Lesson


SWBAT respond thoughtfully to diverse perspectives and, when warranted, qualify or justify their own views in light of evidence and reasoning presented, by writing thesis statements in small groups and discussing them as a whole group.

Big Idea

If two minds are better than one, how are four? Let's work together to draft arguments on chapter 44.

Getting Started

5 minutes

We will be working with the homework they completed to help them understand chapter 44 of Great Expectations. On Friday, they were asked to write in Pip's point of view to Miss Havisham and Estella, saying whatever they felt Pip should say to these women (W.9-10.3). Then they read chapter 44, where Pip does confront them, and were asked to return to their writing, evaluating what he actually says (W.9-10.1). 

To begin class, they will place all of this work on their desk, so that I can see immediately who is ready to participate in today's activities. Anyone who has not completed their work will have to sit out, since they will not have anything to work on in the activity; they can use the time to do their homework, but they will not receive full credit.


45 minutes

Most of today's class will be spent working in groups of three and four, stationed throughout the room. We are going to be working to improve thesis statements. As we get closer to the end of Great Expectations, I want to prepare them for the final assessment: the essay. Therefore, we are focusing on specific and thorough thesis statements, from which they can develop intriguing essays.

I try to change up the groups every time, but for today, I will arrange them based upon their seating arrangements. First they will share their homework: what did they want Pip to say? After reading, what did they think of the actual interaction? (SL.9-10.1a) Then I will ask a series of questions and each group will work to develop thesis statements for each:

  • Do you think that Miss Havisham grasps Pip's pain? Explain. 
  • Pip loves Estella. But how does she feel about him? How do you know?
  • How does Estella feel about Drummel?
  • Using what you know in this chapter, how would Dickens define true love? 


After I ask a question, I will give time for each group to develop their thesis (W.9-10.2a). Then each group will share. At this point, we can have a discussion based upon the similarities and differences in their statements (SL.9-10.1d). Ultimately, I want to drive them into the text, so I am hoping that the discussion and differing view points will cause them to prove their opinion with textual evidence. This clip shows a short example of what I am referring to. 

Wrapping Up

5 minutes

Students will read chapters 47 and 48 for homework. To get them interested, I will give a short preview of what they will read. For instance, Dickens reveals a few more mysteries, including more of Molly's background. I won't tell them much more than that because I want them to be intrigued enough to read.