Today students encountered the double negative. A double negative consists of two negative words, like "didn't never." Two negatives don't make a positive in grammar, so the correct way to say this is "it didn't ever ring."
We're also continuing the quest to match subjects and verbs. In the second line, "I needed to found" should be "I needed to find." In the third line, "Some of them groan" should be "Some of them groaned."
Today we completed the third close read in order to determine the theme of "The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street." The purpose of the third read is for the teacher to read aloud and model thinking. The teacher models the annotating process and makes their thinking transparent to the students. The difficult part of the third read is to help guide students towards the answers to the text dependent questions without giving those answers away. Sometimes I think that's easier said than done, but if the passage is rigorous and robust, it's much easier. I think the resolution of the play fits. Not including the stage directions before and after, it's only one paragraph. Four sentences. But there's a whole lot packed into those four sentences, and this third read allows me to guide students to the deep meaning of the play--the theme.
The picture does not have the stage directions, but I'll talk about those stage directions below. For the full thing, click here.
Here's what I pointed out, sentence by sentence.
While I was thinking aloud, the students kept gasping. Some even clapped their hands over their mouth. And when I was done, there was silence for awhile. They were so deep in thought, they didn't want to talk, and they never want to not talk. It was weird. It was like the Twilight Zone leaked out into our world.
Here's the third quickwrite question that I asked students to answer.
Today we're looking at characters. We're analyzing the character's traits, both direct and indirect, to see how those traits impact the plot.
How does a character's traits (thoughts, behavior, words) help move the plot along? In this case, one major way is that the characters either try to calm the others down or help build the conflict by joining in scapegoating others.
We're only considering the major characters for the purposes of this assignment. I did include Woman as a major character. Even though she doesn't have a name, she's a pivotal character to assign blame. She doesn't become a scapegoat, but she certainly targets others. I put students in groups of two using their clock appointment and assigned each pair of students one character. This meant that there were two groups assigned to Steve, Charlie, and Les. They students were more upset about that than I thought they'd be.
We haven't discussed direct and indirect traits for awhile, so students did need a refresher on the difference. Basically, direct traits are told to the reader directly by the narrator or a character's speech. Indirect traits require the reader to make inferences based on the speech, thoughts, and actions. If the reader has to read between the lines, it's indirect characterization. If you don't have to read between the lines, it's direct characterization.
I reminded students that they had their fancy highlighter tape that they could use to highlight their character's lines as well as the lines that other characters said about them. Using the highlighter tape allows students to identify the lines so they can focus on them without worrying about losing the lines in a page of text.
I would have given each student a copy of this handout had our copier been working. It's not working (again), so I did a giant version on butcher paper and put this under the doc camera. One side of the paper has a place to record the character' direct traits (traits that are revealed through the narrator's words or directly told by a character's speech) and the other side has room to record indirect traits (traits we learn about through the character's own speech, thoughts, and actions and usually require inferences). Also included is a space to record the reasons they became a a scapegoat. In the case of Woman, Myra, and Ethel, that was used to record how they progressed the scapegoating of others.
I gave students about thirty minutes to complete this. They would have had about thirty five minutes, but we had to go to another classroom to sing happy birthday to a teacher. We have priorities, yo.
Today's lesson picture was created with Wordle.