I complete this lesson after I am past the sixth chapter of the book so that we have as much information to compare the two families. I have them do this portion on their white board or on a piece of paper that is folded in half length wise. I also keep track of our thought and ideas on the classroom white board.
I have them write the names of the two families at the top of each list. I then ask them to come up with a symbol that would relate to each family. I have them use their elbow partner to discuss which symbol might work out the best. They quickly decide on the Star of David, but it takes a whole class discussion to confirm the use of a cross for the other family. I makes sure to talk about the inference to the cross and that we had to use this skill to come up with the symbol.
I then facilitate the discussion of the differences between the two families. I want to focus on differences because they are the ones that they will need to infer and draw conclusions about. We continue until we have a very solid grasp of the families. We cover everything feelings, situations, and text evidence.
Now that we have a great list and have held a great discussion, we will now use all of that to help us draw some conclusions about the two families. I start by having them discuss with a partner what they learned from comparing them and what they are thinking now.
I really want to try a draw out of them how the two families help each other and to infer why they might do this. The hardest part is getting them to realize how Ellen's family helped the Johanson's. This is a great ext embedded question they can go back and find together.
to conclude and wrap up our thinking, I have students write a two sentence response to what we have went over. The focus o their writing is why the author would want us to stop and compare the families. What is the author trying to get us to understand?