Close Reading for Author's Craft with the Secret Life of Walter Mitty

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Objective

SWBAT think about how the author crafted a story in order to compare it to another author.

Big Idea

Why did James do that?

Lesson Opener

10 minutes

Connect:  I will say, “Yesterday we reread the part of Walter Mitty and looked at the different points of view of Walter Mitty and his wife. Today we are going to look at the text again to determine how the author crafted the text to show the theme.

Teach: I will say, “In order to show a deeper understanding of the text, I am going to practice the skill thinking about author’s craft and the strategy of using what I know about how authors craft stories. The process I will use is as follows:

1) Re-read the part of the text that I read yesterday

2) Think to myself, “Why did the author craft the text this way”

3) Write long about the author’s craft

4) Compare to how an author crafted a theme from another story.”

I will show students a “how authors craft theme” chart with sentence stems or give them the resource sheet. Then I will show the students with Mason Dixon Memory how I determine an author’s craft moves. I will read the part where Clifton Davis starts thinking of his own memory while listening to Dondre, “Hmm…Clifton Davis not only uses a flashback, but then develops two different plot lines. I am going to jot down, “The author uses a flashback in order to develop two plot lines”

After I show at least three example of craft (I will have the other two already written). I will show the students how I think through, the authors craft moves in Mason Dixon and compare them to Song of Trees. I will show them an example of my writing. 

Active Engagement

10 minutes

Active Engagement: I will say, “I want you to re-read just the first paragraph of the part of The Secret Life of Walter Mitty that you read yesterday, using the chart, turn and tell your partner what kind of craft moves you see James Thurber making. Tell your partner the piece of evidence that makes you think this” I will check for understanding listening to every level of learner (at least 3 students-one who is at standard, one is approaching standard, and one who is above standard).

For students that were having trouble, I also had an example with The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. Here is an example:

Closing of Active Engagement: I will say, “Remember, in order to show a deeper understanding of the text, great readers practice the skill thinking about author’s craft moves and the strategy of using sentence stems and their resources. They re-read the part of the text which shows their theme, they think to themselves, “Why did the author craft the text this way? Then they compare how one author crafted a theme to another author.” 

Independent Practice

25 minutes

Independent Practice: I will say, “Now you are going to finish re-reading the part of the story you read yesterday, annotate for author’s craft and then write long about it by comparing James Thurber to either Mason Dixon Memory or Song of the Trees.”

I will remind students to use the author’s craft anchor chart and the compare and contrast sentence stems. Students will organize and write quietly while I conference using the Possible Conferences for Comparing Texts I will put on the writing music.  

Partner Work: Students will be directed share their writing about author’s craft. I will say, “Decide who will be partner A and who will be partner B. Partner A you will share your thoughts about how James Thurber crafted the theme(s) of The Secret Life of Walter Mitty and how it compares to another text. Partner B, I want you to listen if partner A has a logical argument for a comparison between the authors of both texts. Give your partner feedback as to if they missed anything. I should hear you say, “I agree because…. OR I disagree because…” Then switch.”

Closing

Closing: For today students will turn in their “write longs” in order for me to assess their understanding of author’s craft.