Symbolism in Call of the Wild: Working in Groups

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SWBAT work together to define the meaning of a given symbol and find text support to back it up.

Big Idea

Students work like sled dogs -- in a team!

Latin Roots Warm Up: Clud, Clus and Cruc

10 minutes

This is our daily warm up, wherein students work with two or three Latin roots per day.  The resource that I use to get my roots is Perfection Learning's Everyday Words from Classic Origins.
Every day, when the students arrive, I have two Latin roots on the SmartBoard.  Their job is to generate as many words as they can that contain the roots, and they try to guess what the root means.  After I give them about five minutes, we share words and I tell them what the root means.

The students compile these daily activities in their class journals.  After every twelve roots, they take a test on the roots themselves and a set of words that contains them.

Group Talk Time

15 minutes

Yesterday, I used a list of symbols (which I got from and assigned each student a symbol to define and find in the text.  The students struggled a bit, so I decided to dedicate some class time to putting the students in small groups to work through this symbolism stuff.

 So, after the warm up, I called the groups to different parts of the classroom and I had them share information.  After they talked for a few minutes and cleared up misconceptions (of which there were more than a few,) I gave each group a piece of white paper and a marker.  I told them to write down notes on their discussion to be shared later with the class.  I was careful to say that they were just notes to share with their classmates, and they would be doing very informal presentations when sharing out.  (In other words, don't spend too much time making it pretty -- just try to share information.)

Groups Present/Students Take Notes

20 minutes

After the students had time to talk everything out, I called the groups up, one by one, and had them put their paper under the document camera.   Each group came up and shared their text support and their understanding of the symbol.  

The presentations were actually pretty decent, and I feel like the students knew more about symbolism than they thought.

I plan to include symbols on an assessment for the book; I just haven't exactly figured out how I want to do it.