When I first read the CCSS, I was a little concerned about standard RL.9-10.7 because it seemed the most abstruse of all of them. How are we to generate different media around the same theme, I wondered. However, upon closer inspection, I realized that we do this all of the time and that the students really do enjoy the chance to engage in this kind of text-to-text discussion. The key, I think, is to facilitate the discussion around representation of theme (RL.9-10.2) across the varying media (RL.9-10.7).
Since we have been discussing dehumanization quite a bit, I figured that this theme might be a logical jumping off point, so I suggested this connection, but I also offered a very open ended prompt:
Find one song that relates to a key moment, theme, or character insight in Book 3 of the novel.
The students all possess 1:1 technology with chromebooks, so I figure that this assignment will be easily done in class, but it is the explanation of these connections that I am most excited to hear about. Also, I do think that this prompt could turn into a longer project, but for now, it is meant to be a shorter prompt.
After brief explanation of the prompt and about the idea of representation, I will give the students some time to find a song and prepare a brief talking point or two for the class.
I plan to give the students some time to find an example from music media of the ideas we have been discussing (RL.9-10.7). The point of this part of the lesson is to analyze the representation of a subject or a key scene in two different artistic mediums, including what is emphasized or absent in each treatment (RL.9-10.7).
In addition to being informative, I think that this prompt will give the students an affective boost as they round the corner on finishing the novel. And while affective response is not high as a priority by the CCSS, these types of responses will likely support our inquiry into figurative language in important ways.
I envision the students working informally, some pairing up, some at a loss for how to proceed. I will circulate and answer questions as they arise, help direct students who may need help, etc. I imagine that some students will be very animated and excited to import that music into the class reading and discussion. Again, I plan to offer a chance for them to make connections to the text, even as I circulate.
1. What is your song about? What is the feeling of your song?
2. How does it appropriately match what has happened in the book? Is your connection to the theme, plot, or character?
3. If your scene were in a movie, and your song was playing in the background, what do you think the camera should be filming?
I picture doing this type of presentation informally. Rather than having a student go to the head of the class, I will have them pair up to share both a song excerpt and the connections to the novel (RL.9-10.7). To do this effectively, I will utilize a "museum format," in which half of the students stay put at their desks, and the others circulate for 5-10 minutes to each of the "exhibits." Then the students will swap roles of museum visitor and curator. I plan to keep this loose and informal, with an emphasis on letting the students share what pleases them with fewer restrictions and less structure than I typically have for an activity of this nature.