In the previous two lessons students engaged in activities to help them arrive at an interpretation of a symbol in Hemingway’s “Hills Like White Elephants.” Today I give them time to draft a formal written interpretation. I only assign a paragraph. This is because I want students to produce a series of written responses for this story and I need them to get through each in a relatively short amount of time. I give students about 30 minutes to work on their written analysis of the symbol in silence. They need the time in silence to develop their argument. I plan on conferencing with them in a later lesson so I let them work on their own and just answer quick questions if they come up.
We now move on to another important aspect of this story, characters. I want students to consider the following two questions, which I write on one board along with the two possible answers:
Does the American love Jig?
What is Jig going to do?
GET AN ABORTION KEEP THE BABY
I ask students to choose one question they would like to answer in writing and choose one of the two possible answers. I give each student one sticky note and have them write their name on it and stick it under the answer they selected. I discuss the results and usefulness of this visual in this video. The discussion is taking place tomorrow.
Students will also be writing a formal paragraph that responds to the question they selected. Before they do this, though, I want them to engage in discussion to get feedback from classmates and strengthen their working arguments. They will engage in such discussion tomorrow. Today, I have students prepare for this discussion by outlining an initial claim and gather some textual evidence they are considering to support their response. This is a sample outline completed today.