Reflection: Student Grouping Analyzing Plot with "Thank You, M'am" - Section 2: Working Collaboratively to Analyze Plot


What do I do when students just won't cooperate with my well-thought out groups?  Because they will.  At some point, the random group generator will lose its magic and they'll balk.  "But I can't work with so-and-so."  "I don't want to work with them." "Can't I just work alooooone?" "But the sky is blue and it's raining!"


I'll share a few of my favorite responses to this.

  1. First, if a student really does want to work alone, sometimes it's just not worth fighting that fight. Sometimes, it's just best to let them work alone.
  2. Second, I remind them that I'm not asking to marry their partner(s), I'm just asking them to work with them.  That usually gets them to laugh awkwardly and be able to move on.
  3. Third, I remind them that throughout their lives, they'll need to work with people they don't like.  It's a life skill that needs to be learned. 
  4. Fourth, I use the student survey I gave them on the second day of school to help ward off issues of two students who really don't get along.  If L and A both don't like each other, I know to avoid that, thanks to the handy-dandy student survey.



  Troubleshooting Groupwork
  Student Grouping: Troubleshooting Groupwork
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Analyzing Plot with "Thank You, M'am"

Unit 3: Analyzing Literature and Writing Business Letters with Langston Hughes’ Thank You, M’am”
Lesson 4 of 10

Objective: Students will be able to analyze how elements of a story (conflict, characters, plot, theme) interact by working in groups to cite evidence on a plot diagram.

Big Idea: Students work in collaborative groups to determine the how a conflict is resolved through character's actions.

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