Comprehension Check: To Live Dice Seminar

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SWBAT demonstrate their ability to use text to drive discussion by drawing on specific examples from To Live in a whole class discussion of the text.

Big Idea

As we discuss some of the big thematic ideas/questions from the novel, I will specifically ask students to think about what textual examples they might bring in to support their thinking.


10 minutes

We will start class with ten minute of reading. I will read with my students during this time. 

To Live Dice Seminar

40 minutes

Our discussions last week seemed to be beneficial to the students, so today we will have another, more structured discussion about what we've been reading in the book. 

I will organize this discussion as a dice seminar, which groups students into groups of four. As an experiment, I will let them work with the groups they've chosen to do their final projects with. I'm hoping that I can get a sense of their group dynamics by watching them work on this text specific task today and maybe have some good information about which groups to keep an eye on during our research time next week. But I digress. 

The dice seminar itself is organized in such a way that every student has a chance to discuss/process their answers prior to being randomly called on to speak. Each group is assigned a number and within that group, each student is assigned a number. I have 14 groups of four students, so I use 20-sided dice to roll a group number and then role a four-sided dice to call on a student. If you don't have fancy dice, you can also use a game spinner or playing cards to achieve the random nature of the speaking order. 

For this seminar, I will ask students to answer text-based questions about the novel using specific textual support to back up their thinking (RL.9-10.1 and SL.9-10.1a). Each of these questions represents a larger thematic idea that I used to introduce the book (RL.9-10.2), specifically focusing on gender roles, the struggles of the common man and the historical ideas/events that influence the plot and characters in the book. I have not done a great job of being consistent with my focus on these or any themes for this novel. I am choosing to focus in on these few ideas because we discussed them last week and because they are the big ideas that other 10th grade students have discussed, so I am hoping that my students will benefit from that consistency.

Now that we are more than halfway through the text, I want to return to these ideas and see what students can do with them, especially since I've seen them struggling with thematic analysis throughout our reading and discussion. 

Wrap Up and Next Steps

5 minutes

We will use the last few minutes of class to clean up the room. I will also remind students to keep up with their reading as we only have one day in between To Live activities, which is unusual.