To start today's activity, kids will be put in table groups to find the switch moment, or "click," when the story changes from the exposition to the rising action. Together, we discuss the definition of exposition. Through this review, we start to piece together an understanding of rising action. We will know that the exposition is over when the action of the story begins. Can we pinpoint that moment? it will take close reading skills.
I purposefully do not have kids take notes on rising action yet. Lets see if they can constructively determine when the rising action begins, without spoon feeding them the definition of rising action.
I photocopy one chapter of "So B. It," where I think this switch moment may be located. Then I ask them to read aloud to each other in small groups, alternating by paragraph. I also pass out the Small Group Work: Finding the click worksheet.
Together, groups will read and determine their thinking.
I like this activity, because it calls for very close reading of a text, without saying "alright class, today we'll be practicing our close reading skills." For me, the term close reading often provokes glassy eyes and yawns from my kids.
Here is a video of students discussing how they determine that "click moment.
Now it is time for kids to sum up some of the work they've done in small groups. I ask kids for when they heard that switch from exposition to rising action. Kids share out their direct quotes from So B. It. Groups share a variety of responses. We discuss a few that seem particularly action filled or suspenseful. I'm particularly interested in the "why." Can they explain why they've chosen this particular moment? I write selected direct quotes on the board.
Here is student work kids completed in small groups, with evidence as to how we know when the "switch" happens.
Where did you hear the click?
51) "If I hadn't found the camera in the back of the sticky drawer..."
51) "My search for the truth began in earnest after I had the film developed."
51) "Maybe she was right."
51) "A black plastic Kodak Instamatic camera, and inside it a roll of film used."
42) "But all that changed the day the vacuum cleaner broke."
40) "What is soof?"
49) "After I started wondering about soof, I asked Mrs. Coppleman if she had ever heard of Mama's word."
44) "She was screaming and she began to sob and clutch her chest."
Kids will be responsible for showing me their independent Overcoming Obstacle book on the last day of first week of the unit. I like to give kids a week to get situated and find a good book. Until I check-in novels, they won't be able to complete work with an independent text.
Therefore, I spend time reading aloud from the class read aloud, So B. It.
At the end of the lesson, kids will take Whole Class Notes on the Rising Action.
We briefly discuss how suspense builds to create tension. This is normally the longest part of the novel, which is reflected visually in the note sheet.