Building a Theme Analysis: Body Paragraphs and The Writer's Workshop

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SWBAT strengthen literary analysis with text evidence by planning, pre-writing and writing body paragraphs.

Big Idea

Do graphic organizers help students gain confidence in their own writing?

Warm Up

10 minutes

Students have written excellent thesis statements and introductions and are now ready to use the text evidence in their theme folders to write two body paragraphs for the Rhetorical Theme Analysis Assignment. Before they actual begin writing their paragraphs, students are going to complete the Theme Analysis Prewriting.  Here is an explanation for why I ask my students'  to complete this prewriting task.

To get my students thinking about pre-writing, I will ask them the following:

Describe what happened in this part of the text.  How did the action/characters reveal the theme?

* You will prove their thesis in two separate sections of the text. In this section of your prewriting, explain your first section of text.  Explain how the section of text works to reveal your chosen theme.

What did the characters say or think?  LIST 2-3 SEPARATE CARD NUMBERS

* In this section you will explain what the characters said or thought throughout your chosen section. You may organize your thoughts be coordinating your brainstorm with numbers on your theme cards.  Here is a link to the theme card lesson.  

What is the consequence of the action/characters?

*We have often worked on getting to the "so what" of what characters say/do/think. You will explain that in this section.  What is the result of what you have written above?


As students are working, I will work with individual students who are struggling.  



Student Work Time

25 minutes

During student work time, students will be writing their body paragraphs.  While students are working, I will display the three "I Can" Statements.  If students are struggling on any of the "I Can" Statements, they will go to the board and write their initials next to the Statement they are struggling with.  This will help me know which students need my help, it will give students an opportunity to get out of their chair and stretch their legs (which all high school students need) and if I notice that there are many initials next to a particular standard, I will stop and reteach that standard.  

 The "I Can" statements that I use today are:

I Can develop and strengthen my writing by planning, revising, and trying new approaches. (W 9-10.5)

I Can use effective quotes, details and facts to develop the topic.  (W 9-10.2d)

I Can write for a range of time (W 9-10.10)


While students are working, I will watch the board for students who need help and will conference with those students.  

Early in the year, the students and I spent two class periods developing I Can Statements based on the Common Core.  While the CC helps guide my instruction and curriculum, it is also daunting.  If I know it intimidates me, there is no doubt that the language intimidates students. I Can Statements help students see objectives as something they can do.  It breaks down complex language into a statement that students can read and use to evaluate their own learning. I asked the students to help me write them because it got them familiar with the course of the class and it helped create student ownership.  


I use them in class consistently.  When conferencing with a student, I use them as an opening question.  I ask a student, "Sally, can you show me where you chose a relevant detail to support your thesis?"  The Statements give the students and I a consistent language to use.  



10 minutes

Students will end class by reading the body paragraphs of their table-mates.  This will help us begin class tomorrow.