Tracing Character and Thematic Development by Creating Collaborative Online Book Notes (Day 1 of 2)

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SWBAT trace character and thematic developments across a long, complex text in this second part of The Kite Runner by creating collaborative class notes.

Big Idea

Students in this lesson think in more complex and complete ways about theme and characters than is typically expected.

Visible Thinking: I used to think but now I think...

15 minutes

In this segment, I am introducing three key points that I want the students to document on a collaborative notes sheet.  We will explore the author's choices to switch point of view (RL.9-10.5), to use figurative language (RL.9-10.4) to depict friendship and loss for Amir (RL.9-10.3).  In order to set this up properly, I will ask the students to think through the book in a global sense, so formatively assess what they are noticing in terms of shifts. 

 Visible thinking routines.  [**Note, this activity and many other great discussion routines are available through Harvard's Project Zero, as you can see in the preceding link.  Check it out!] Use this link to read up on Harvard's approach to visible thinking, as I find it quite compelling.  For today's discussion protocol, I will use I used to think but now I think to get students thinking about key shifts in the novel.  

I will ask:

1.) How has your thinking on Amir changed?  What did you used to think about him?  What do you think now?

2.) Before reading this section, how would you have defined dehumanization (i.e. based on our reading of F451)?  How did your definition get changed or expanded with the presentation of poverty in this section?  Of the orphanage?  Of the beggar who knew Amir's mom?

3.) How did your thinking on the tree change?  

My goal here is to elicit their thinking, to see how the book is evolving for them as we build up to the key scene (in two days) in which Amir confronts Assef in a final showdown. 

Class Notes on collaborative notes sheet

15 minutes

Collaborative Notes in 1:1. We will use this template Pages from Part II--StudyGuide for students to work in pairs to extend the notes that we have already begun.  Creating a collaborative notes page is not new and in fact we have done this a couple of times during the unit thus far, so the students should be ready and familiar.  Having 1:1 chromebooks makes this simple because the students can quickly open their computers, add textual evidence (RL.9-10.1) and then be ready to discuss.


10 minutes

Students are still winding their way through a challengingly long book, and I am hoping that a little bit of SSR at frequent intervals will sustain their reading.  Normally, I like to have students do the most challenging work in front of me and the rehearsals and sustained work at home.  While SSR may seem like a departure from that construct, it really isn't because the ability for students to read a challenging text (RL.9-10.10) and to sustain interest over a long period of time will require their full effort and attention, so I am judiciously selecting some time and space to attend to this activity in class. 

During SSR time, I will be pulling individual students aside to do some diagnostic reading and also some snooping to see how far they are in the story.