Reflection: Routines and Procedures Symbolism In “Hills Like White Elephants” - Section 4: Students Analyze A Symbol


The reason why I have students work on this part of the assignment in groups is because it would be very time consuming for individual students. In this activity, I essentially want students to experience combing through the text and writing down every single thing that the text mentions about the symbol they were responsible for. In other words, I am forcing them to examine the author’s language closely, an important skill I have been trying to help them develop and one central to the Common Core. If they learn to spend enough time with the author’s language and to refer back to it repeatedly, their ability to analyze important elements, like symbols, will improve. It would be worthwhile to have each individual student take the time to comb through the entire essay on their own, but I can’t afford the time and I feel confident that the work they did today in collaboration is also valuable. Also, this group work required student to practice speaking and listening skills as they discussed possible meanings of the symbol they worked with. This is meant to cash in on the power of talk to help students think through and make sense of the text.

This is a sample list of quotes a group of students selected for the white elephant.

  Routines and Procedures: Group Work
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Symbolism In “Hills Like White Elephants”

Unit 5: Modernist Literature
Lesson 10 of 17

Objective: SWBAT analyze symbolism in this story by collaborating and examining the language of the text.

Big Idea: Combing through the story to arrive at an accurate interpretation of symbols in the story.

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