Timing. To begin, please don't misunderstand the sequence of lessons here. A month may have elapsed between the first lesson and this one! It's important to get the books into the students hands and get them reading challenging texts (RL.9-10.10) independently. In these lessons, the students compare interpretations with one another by first creating a book poster talk, then by creating a larger creative response to the content of the book. These efforts will assess the students' mastery of a range of reading skills that we have been addressing all year because much more of the ideation, analysis and application will come from them in a creative and novel project, a digital story (W.9-10.6). Further, each lesson will now incorporate informal communication as an assessment technique, and I will need to be recursively checking with teach student to see how the reading has gone and to expect evidence and insight in each of these interactions (SL.9-10.1).
Today's lesson guides students to work together to create a poster to set down the basic ideas of the book (RL.9-10.2), the character developments (RL.9-10.3) and the key scenes which they will use in their digital storytelling project (RL.9-10.7). The next few lessons will focus on creating a script of the key scene, selecting images that complement the scene, and finally integrating these into a spoken-word production of the novel.
Book Posters. In introduce the following activity by drawing on the board a pie chart of equally divided sections: themes and ideas, character developments, and key scenes. The idea is that the students themselves should understand the book that they have read independently, and they should each be able to explain in depth their poster notes. I plan to assess the posters individually (SL.9-10.1) while the rest of the class works on the next stage of this project, which is the script writing (W.9-10.10) and image curating (W.9-10.6).
Poster Interviews. I will call the students up to the posters which I have hanging in a corner of the room. I call them up in groups of 2-4 students, looking to interview each of them in depth, to see just how deeply they have comprehended the book that they have read. Most are already finished with their books, but some need a few more days to finish, but ALL should be able to explain in depth what key points about character, theme, and scenes they have put onto the poster.
In these talks, I am also trying to lay the seeds for a discussion of representation. As the students have read the books, they are ready to consider what the film makers have altered, left out, added, etc., in the film version (RL.9-10.7). Some students have already gone ahead and viewed the entire film, and others are kicking it into gear to simply finish the book. However, as I respond to each student or group of students, I will make sure that the basics of interpretation are mastered before moving onto the topic of representation, as in the last question (#14) below.
Prompts: I typically build the prompts that I ask each student from their stated understandings, but here are a few prompts that represent some directions that you can go:
As Assessment of Reading. My biggest concern is that the students are showing an incrementally more complex understanding of character, theme, and story than they have been showing all year. For each student, it's a bit of a sliding scale, but above all, I am looking to remediate situations in which I find that a student has not begun to access the storyworld.
At the close of class, I remind students that the semester project that they are doing is a digital story in which they can produce a scene from the book that they have read. It can be a lost scene, an alternate ending, or a key scene from the storyline.
I will say:
1.) If you are indeed done reading, begin to write your script, about a 1/2 page rendition of your scene of choice.
2.) If you have extra time (and some of you will) begin searching out images from wikimediacommons.org that you can use in your production. You will need to cite these, so keep track!