On this, the final official day of the novel, the class period begins with the students working in their respective table groups to make revisions to the character analysis activity they began during section 2 of the novel. I let them work in their table groups to complete this task in order to provide them with someone to bounce ideas off of or to get perspective from. More often than not, this results in the students having a better overall understanding of the characters and how they relate to one another because the students were able to build a collective body of knowledge. As Aristotle so eloquently stated, "The whole is greater than the sum of its parts."
As the students are working on this task, I go through with my stamp one final time to stamp the work that was expected to be completed by this time. In this case, I look over the final set of comprehension questions and the activity where students analyzed literary devices and figurative language in the novel.
Once students have completed the character analysis task, I lead the class in a discussion to review their findings and understandings. I ask about each character one at a time, asking students at random to provide a brief statement that accurately defines and describes who the character is. Then, the class is able to provide input, adding or subtracting details as they deem necessary. As this takes place, students are able to compare their opinions and interpretations to those of their peers, helping them to develop a more accurate understanding of their position relative to the group. When a student is way off from the general consensus, they must reflect on what that means, and adjust accordingly if need be. When they are right in line with their peers, they tend to feel the confidence build within themselves.
Once we have discussed each of the characters and determined their relationships to one another, we discuss the comprehension questions for this section of the novel. Students are expected to not only answer the question, but also to reference specific text as justification. Students who are great at this are able to model the skill for their peers in a way that I cannot as the teacher. For some students, this can be far more influential and helpful than all of my combined efforts. Whatever works is fine by me.
To conclude this lesson, I ask the students questions related to themes and key concepts in the novel. For instance, I ask them to explain how "Knowledge is power, but so too is fear" can be a possible theme. This one often leads to some interesting responses. For more on that, check out my reflection in this section about this portion of the lesson.
To wrap things up for the day, I give the students a task to write down any remaining questions they have about the novel, however big or small. I simply caution them to remain reasonable and to act maturely and responsibly in doing so. I pass out a sticky note to each student and then collect them back from them on their way out the door.
I explain my process from this point, and my reasons behind it, in the Exit Ticket Justification video reflection.