First, I present what students will complete and discuss today in literature circles. In order to enact today's lesson, you'll need to set up procedures and standards for effective literature circles. Here are two lessons that display those standards:
I have a bucket or List of Random Settings. Each group selects one. Then, in groups, they split into two smaller groups. Half the group creates an unrealistic conflict based on the setting. The other group selects a realistic conflict based on the selected setting.
Kids begin to craft their conflicts on the back of the sheets, all the while asking themselves the question: How does setting affect the conflict? Sometimes I have them participate in a swap. So kids who wrote the realistic conflict stay put and the unrealistic kids move to a different group. Then they read their conflicts to their new group, and the new group tries to determine their assigned setting.
Setting: Immediate or General
Carpet Factory (I)
Way that the setting impacts the conflict.
Working all day w/ one break, homesick & lonely bc of isolation, harsh punishments, filthy, unfair rules, starving, sweltering hot, forced into child labor, no separation between work and home, mind-numbing repetition
On the chart, they've already written one immediate setting. Now they add two more settings from the story Iqbal: one general (Karachi, Pakistan) and one immediate (Iqbal's family farm). These are settings previously introduced in the read aloud.
When I finish, I ask the kids to contribute to the t-chart. Can we find ways that this setting could contribute to a conflict? I put students in pairs so they can find ways in which the two other settings could create or affect conflicts.
Here is a finished product:
Students complete the TBA from Discussion Boxes, Set 3.
TBA = How does the setting affect the conflict? In this section, students should choose one example of immediate setting from their Middle East/Asia novel. Then, they make a list as they have done in pairs using our mentor text, to figure out how this immediate setting impacts or creates a conflict.
They also have time to work on Discussion Boxes, Set 4, to prepare for their next literature circle.
They read independently, and I help clear up misconceptions from today's lesson.
As a wrap-up, I pose this question to the entire class:
Which is impacting conflict more in your novel? The immediate setting or general setting? Or both?
We sum up the answer to this question through discussion. Usually, kids want to say both, because the two settings are so deeply intertwined. This is a great answer.