Analyzing Balance: Representations of Yin and Yang in To Live (Day 2 of 2)

Print Lesson


SWBAT demonstrate their ability to trace a theme throughout a text by creating and discussing charts that analyze the Yin/Yang balances in To Live.

Big Idea

Students will use the textual support that they gathered about the theme of balance in the novel to discuss the purpose of the Yin/Yang balance, an important Chinese cultural idea, in To Live.


10 minutes

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

Yin/Yang Poster Work Time

10 minutes

After reviewing what students were able to get done last week, it seems clear that students need a little more time to finish up their Yin/Yang Posters, which we started working on late last week. I will give them a short chunk of time today to get back together with their partners to do that.

I will also remind them that we are going to discuss the ideas/themes (RL.9-10.2) that they are choosing to represent in their work. I will ask them to make sure they are prepared for that discussion with ideas from the text (SL.9-10.1 and SL.9-10.1a). I will also remind them that they need to include both quotes and analysis to earn full points for their posters. This will, hopefully, reinforce the skill/idea that textual support is critical when explaining what a text says explicitly and implicitly (RL.9-10.1).

Yin/Yang Theme Discussion

10 minutes

Once students have finished their posters, we will spend time discussing the importance of the Yin/Yang idea to the book. I will post our questions on the projectors, ask students to take a few minutes to process each one and then randomly call on people to answer the questions out loud.

These questions are meant to push their thinking and also to help them see how the author is utilizing his cultural background/thinking to create theme in the novel (RL.9-10.6). Hopefully, students will see that the lack of balance in the book is as important to think about as the balance that Taoist philosophy is urging them to think about.