Analyzing Literary Devices with a Written Discussion

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Students will be able to analyze literary devices by participating in a written discussion.

Big Idea

A written discussion? Oh, just pass the paper!

Pass the Paper Directions

10 minutes

Today I was a bit short on time due to having to take my students down to the health room for a fitness post-test.  It only took about ten minutes for each class, but since it's the Friday of a short week, everything takes longer. 

Today students are working on making meaning of Chapters 7 through 9 through a written discussion.  I'm using the Pass the Plate activity, but on paper, so I called it Pass the Paper. In this type of activity, students pass a sheet of paper (or plate) around the room, with each student adding on.  It's just a different way to have a discussion to help students make meaning. It's similar to the graffiti gallery walk in that the comments can be anonymous, so I made sure to lay some ground rules.

 The only preparation I had to do was type up the CH 7-9 Questions, make the font bigger than normal, and cut the questions apart into little strips.  That way, each group could choose their own question, which quite frankly, is exciting.

Pass the Plate Written Discussion

30 minutes

Round One is the simplest? Most confusing? Both? Who knows? For round one, each group had to get out a sheet of paper (oh, the humanity!) and copy the question on that sheet of paper.  This was harder than it should have been.  I don't know why. 

Then, once they'd copied the question on the sheet of paper, they need to either find a piece of concrete evidence to support it OR write commentary to explain.  I didn't want the paper to stay in one group too long, so they only needed to do one.

This pictures shows how one student copied the question.  They even put in a pretty bubble t make it stand out!







This pictures shows their response.They chose to use a detail from the text, but without the citation.  They also wrote a brief piece of commentary.






Round 2


Round Two was a bit more complicated.  Or easier.  Again, I'm not sure. Seventh graders are crazy.

For round two, they needed to read the previous responses (the huMANity!) before writing either another piece of concrete evidence or a response (commentary).





This picture shows the second group's response.









 And this last picture shows the third group's response.








You can see two samples of questions in the lesson resources, laid out in an easy to read Word document.  Here's the example from above.   Here's a sample from a different question.

Lesson Resources

Today's lesson picture is a collage of students' responses during the Pass the Paper activity.