Using Questions To Deepend Our Understanding Of Shirley Jackson's "The Lottery" (2 of 2)

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SWBAT analyze the theme (s) and irony of The Lottery by using Bloom's Taxonomy to guide a class discussion.

Big Idea

Let's give students an opportunity to discuss literature!

Warm Up

5 minutes

We are going to begin class with a quick discussion of the story.  I want students to start thinking about their opinion about the text so I ask them to answer the question (W.9-10.10),

What would have happened if someone stood up to the people and said The Lottery was stupid and outdated?  Can you think of anything like this that happens in current society? Write for three minutes.


Class Discussion

10 minutes

Yesterday, we focused mainly on writing about the story.  Today, I want students to have a conversation about the literature that includes their opinion and text evidence to support that (RL.9-10.1) Students and I will have a discussion about the story (SL.9-10.1).  I will let their thoughts guide our discussion.  I want to make sure to talk about irony today.  The Lottery has great examples of irony so I want to make sure to point those out to students. I will be sure to point out the irony in the text with questions like (RL.9-10.5),

Why do you think the author begins the story by describing the story as a bright, sunny day?

Why is it ironic that the villagers make fun of the next village for wanting to end the lottery?

How is the title ironic?

How does the irony in the story create surprise?  


We will also discuss the theme and central ideas of the text (RL.9-10.2).  

Is the lottery morally justified because it is tradition?

Does the story have symbolic meaning? If so, what is it tell us about ourselves?

Students Develop Additional Questions

10 minutes

Students will have ten minutes to write an additional four questions using the question stems based on Bloom's Taxonomy from the Common Core Institute website (it is the fourth page down once you click on the link).  They must have two questions from the left hand side and one question from the right.  

I ask students to ask additional questions because I want them to think after we have discussed.  We have asked initial questions, have answered those questions, have discussed the text, and now we will ask additional questions based on all of the information we have gathered thus far.  

In this video a student deepens her understanding by deepening her questions

Students Answer Questions And Confer With Their Peer

25 minutes

After students have written their questions, they choose a partner to work with.  The students trade their questions with their partner.  For seven minutes, students answer their partner's questions.  They may not speak during this time.  I circulate the room to make sure everyone is on task. 

Next, each student has five minutes to explain their answers to their partner (SL.9-10.1a).  For example.  Student A answered Student B's questions.  Student A has five minutes to explain to Student B how she answered each question and why she answered it in that way.  Each partner can ask questions to clarify understanding (SL.9-10.1c). I will tell students when to switch.  


Before students leave, I will collect all questions and answers.