Literary Analysis

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SWBAT: begin analysis of the text after we wrap up our class novel.

Big Idea

This step-by-step analysis guide can be altered to any novel!

Guiding Question

5 minutes

This Guiding Question led students to use their textbooks as resources. There was a definition in their book, but it was generally over my students' heads. We had to paraphrase, summarize, and synthesize the definition as a class. I create this GQ because I thought that students weren't exactly understanding what they were getting ready to write, and why. I mean, I kept saying things like, "This will be useful for your character analysis essay," or "You will need to know this for your character analysis essay," but I'm pretty sure that I never told them what a Literary Analysis Essay was.


45 minutes

The most important aspect of this lesson is for my students to understand what literary analysis is, and why we do it. To this end, I use the Literary Analysis explanation from our SpringBoard text and think aloud with it. Here's kind of how that sounds:


Next, I give them the Brainstorming Chart and we work on it together. This is also adapted from our SpringBoard text, only I altered it so that it matched the class novel I chose--The Fourth Stall. There are a lot of things going on in this assignment.

First, they are beginning to brainstorm and map out their ideas for the Embedded Assessment. By having them use their Double-Entry Journals to understand the "why" behind the changes the characters go through, students will gain a better conceptual understanding of internal and external conflict. 

Next, they are actually writing a thesis statement, complete with transitions. They do this by literally filling in the blanks of the model sentences provided. It may not be creative, and may seem formulaic, but, hey, these are 6th graders and they really need to understand the structure first!

Then my students are reviewing the cause and effect structure by using transitions associated with cause and effect, and by also identifying causes and effects when it comes to the changes of the characters.

Finally, they are working toward writing a conclusion for the essay and are learning to connect it back to the thesis.

When finished, if all goes accordingly, they will be well-prepared to write a rough draft.