“Hills Like White Elephants” -Taking A Position On Central Questions

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SWBAT work at improving their ability to write arguments by taking a position on an important aspect of this story and preparing to defend their position.

Big Idea

Students set up the foundation of an argument that will still stand after tomorrow’s discussion.

Students Draft An Analysis of A Symbol

30 minutes

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.

Taking A Position

10 minutes

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?

            YES                                                NO

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.

Drafting An Outline

15 minutes

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.