Back On The Road With Charley

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SWBAT participate in whole-group reading and discussion of Part One of Travels With Charley.

Big Idea

Steinbeck (and Charley) averts the question "Are we there yet?"

Whole Group Reading

40 minutes

Today we will spend the better part of the period reading chapter one of Travels With Charley as a whole group.  In this chapter, Steinbeck writes of his preparation for his journey, describing his beloved Rocinante and itemizing the supplies he packs.

There are two central questions I have for my students throughout chapter one:

  1. How does Steinbeck get away with listing the steps he takes in preparation, as well as listing all his supplies, without boring us?
  2. Why does he personify Rocinante and Charley so frequently?

In terms of the first question, I am relying on my students to acknowledge that because he has established his ethos through his likable and engaging voice, we as readers will tolerate his indulgence in minutia at times.  For the second question, I am certain that my students will be able to name his use of personification, and then look forward to discussing their thoughts on why he uses it.

We will read up to "Labor Day approached . . .", which is the section that describes his encounter with Hurricane Donna.  This section will be covered in our next whole-group reading session. 

Last Chance Essay Work

30 minutes

The last 30 minutes or so of class are devoted to one last chance to work on the argument essay that is due tomorrow.  This is time to allow for any unfinished (late) peer response, any revisions, and any spot-checking from me.  

Making more time in class to work under my direction on a processed essay has been a goal of mine this year, one which has more or less been achieved with each processed essay I have assigned. Each essay has begun with a whole class writer's workshop, and I have tried to follow up in the days after with a few 20-30 minute portions of class time to return to essay drafting and revision.  I avoid whole-period writing sessions after the initial workshop, as too many students tend to lose their focus and drift off task.  However, these smaller follow-up sessions have proven to keep just the right amount of focus and urgency on the essay, while allowing my lessons to simultaneously progress in new directions around them.  

Final essay drafts are due tomorrow, typed, at which time all the pieces of the process will be turned in:

  1. Prewriting
  2. Rough Draft
  3. Peer Response Forms
  4. Rubric