Analyzing Characters, Setting, Plot, and Theme in the Exposition

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Students will be able to analyze characters, plot, and setting by answering questions and citing evidence from the text.

Big Idea

Students use jigsaw groups to analyze the text.


10 minutes

Today was a weird day.  Two of my classes were chosen to participate in the PARCC field test, which meant that I had a substitute to teach the classes that weren't participating in that test. There were technical difficulties, however, and so first hour was taught by a substitute, but I taught the rest of the classes myself since we couldn't actually take the PARCC test.  I kept to what I'd planned for the substitute because first hour had done it and I didn't have time to completely revamp the day's activities.

Today, students are working on analyzing elements of the plot--characters, setting, and plot events. They're answering questions, but each question takes students deeper to help them delve deeper into the text.  Here are the HG 1-3 Questions that will be used in the other sections of this lesson.

For bellwork, I asked students to answer two questions. I asked students to answer questions 7 and 8 because they were the easiest questions and my inclusion students would have more success with those questions. 

Groupwork to Answer Questions

10 minutes

I divided students up into groups using their clock appointments and assigned each group one question.  They were responsible for finding the answer to that question, including citing page numbers, and then sharing that answer with the rest of the class. It's like jigsaw groups.

I used the timer, the miraculous timer, to keep students on track. 

While students worked, I went around to the groups to help.  Students struggled with

  • locating information and making inferences about which characters lived in the Seam versus the town and what jobs were common in both settings. 
  • identifying tesserae.  Many students thought that tesserae were the extra entries, rather than the additional rations of grain and oil.  That was a matter of closely reading (not close reading, but actually paying attention to words).  The discussion around how many times Peeta had his name entered was fascinating, especially when one student brought up how we discover later in the book that Peeta only ate old bread because they couldn't afford the good bread they sold to others.
  • describing Peeta and Katniss' relationship and the significance of the dandelion

 Students had a relatively easy time

  • identifying Katniss' reaction to Peeta being selected
  • identifying the number of times Katniss and Gale were entered
  • explaining the purpose of the Hunger Games
  • explaining what mockingjays are, although they struggled with explaining why it was a "slap in the face" to the Capitol.
  • explaining why Katniss was the sole provider for her family and how she provided for her family
  • analyzing Gale's reaction to Madge's comment about wanting to look nice


Group Discussion

30 minutes

The rest of the time today was used for each group to report the answer to their question to the rest of the class. This activity also helps students develop their speaking and listening skills.

Lesson Resources