In my lesson openers I always have a "connect" in which I connect students' thinking about yesterday's lesson to today's lesson. I then have a "teach" in which I model for students the lesson of the day and also have them try it out. When I think about my modeling, I use three categories; skill, strategy, and process. I model by stating the skill to the students, then giving them a strategy in which to use the skill, followed by the process to try out the strategy.
Connect: I will say, “Yesterday we started brainstorming a setting for our fantasy fiction story. In order to craft the two main characters in our fantasy story; the hero and the villain or the protagonist and the antagonist, I am going to map out their main components.”
Teach: I will say, “In order to brainstorm the characters for our fantasy fiction story, I am going to think about the quest of my story. We are going to use the skill thinking about the quest and the main components of one character in order to think about the contrasting components of the other. I will the strategy of using two different brainstorming charts. The process I will use is as follows:
1) Review a possible setting I brainstormed yesterday
2) Brainstorm a possible quest using a 3 column chart (problems/purpose/motive of the hero)
3) Decide how my hero and villain would act differently with this quest in mind.”
I will show the students how I look at my setting from yesterday, then brainstorm my quest (Quest Three Column Chart Example) and then my characters (see video below)
Active Engagement: I will say, “You will now review your setting from yesterday and work with a partner (or separately) to brainstorm possible quests.” I will look over the shoulder of the students as they work quietly, I will check on their progress (at least 3 students-one who is at standard, one is approaching standard, and one who is above standard). I will ask the students, “Share out your idea about your quest.”
Closing of Active Engagement: I will say, “Remember successful writers practice the skill of brainstorming and the strategy of thinking through the elements of a fantasy story in order to think deeply about their hero and villain.
Independent Practice: I will say, “I will then say, “Now that you have your quest in mind, I want you to think deeper about your characters with your partner (or I could do individual depending on how much work they were able to complete during the first active engagement) using the character map.”
I will show them how I use my quest brainstorm in order to map out my hero and villain using the Contrasting Characters Chart. I will then show them how I start writing about the quest and how my hero (or villain) was drawn to the quest (Quest description example).
I will say, “You will now map out your characters and then go into detail about the quest. I expect you to write a least half of a page detailing your quest. I will walk around and confer with students while they listen to the “Spider Man Film Score (which has many other fantasy movie film scores) on Pandora Radio for their fantasy fiction writing music. I will use the Possible Conferences for Creating Characters and a Quest.
I believe that the end of the lesson should be an assessment of the days’ learning; therefore it should be independent work. I always end class with an exit ticker in which students write down the response to a question.
Closing: Students will be asked to write down the answers to:
1) What is the quest in your fantasy story?
2) Why is the hero on the quest?
3) Why does the villain want to stop it?