Reflection: Grappling with Complexity Comprehension Check: To Live Dice Seminar - Section 2: To Live Dice Seminar


So, I have really struggled with teaching this novel this year. It is only my second time teaching it at all, but I have found that this year has been even more challenging than last year. Part of it is timing. I have less time to get through the text as a whole and a new final project to wedge in to this time as well. Part of it, which I also noticed last year, is that this book is not a very literary book, which makes it difficult to teach like I might teach other books.

I was really beating my head against a wall trying to figure out how to engage the students with this book beyond the historical connections we've been focusing on. Their quiz scores haven't been stellar, even though I think they are reading. And then today, we had a breakthrough. 

The discussion was rich and showed that students were not only reading, but piecing together all the experiences, plot points, characterization, etc. that we've been reading about. Even more importantly, I said something to the whole class about one of the questions and they exploded because I had said something wrong. The fact that they knew enough about the story to correct me and that they cared enough to be so verbally expressive about my mistake was really exciting (and a little embarrassing) to me. 

I hope this is the beginning of a strong end to the book. I am also going to file this away for next year's lesson-planning notes: note to self--discussion works well to teach To Live. =)

  Finally Getting More Depth In the Text!
  Grappling with Complexity: Finally Getting More Depth In the Text!
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Comprehension Check: To Live Dice Seminar

Unit 17: Literary Texts: Analyzing Modern Conflict
Lesson 7 of 11

Objective: SWBAT demonstrate their ability to use text to drive discussion by drawing on specific examples from To Live in a whole class discussion of the text.

Big Idea: As we discuss some of the big thematic ideas/questions from the novel, I will specifically ask students to think about what textual examples they might bring in to support their thinking.

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