Reflection: Station Rotation The Bet, Part 2 - Day 1 - Section 1: Working in Stations


The biggest challenge in setting up stations for a middle school class is finding five worthwhile activities that take about the same amount of time to do.  I had to have five stations, because my largest class has 28 students in it.  If I were to have four stations, that puts seven kids at each station -- too many, generally speaking, but from a practical perspective, it would make the groups of desk too large to fit comfortably in my tiny classroom.

So, when I looked for texts, I thought about the themes that really stood out to me: obviously, something about elective capital punishment, an article or something about the psychological draw of gambling, a biography of the author....then I was a little stuck.  Though I was thinking originally that I would have five different non-fiction passages, I ended up adding some essay-type questions about the story and a vocabulary activity.  In the long run, that worked out better for my classes.  If I were teaching older kids, five passages would have been fine.  However, my students were very happy when they got to the vocabulary station (it did involve drawing, which they tend to like.)  So, though my initial instinct was to do something different, I was pretty happy with they way it turned out.

A note about stations:  Though I would give this lesson an A, in terms of how it flowed and the work the students produced, I wouldn't do a two-day station activity more than once a quarter or so.  I think that would ruin the novelty and the kids would come in thinking, "Oh, man, I have to get through five activities!"


  Finding the right texts
  Station Rotation: Finding the right texts
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The Bet, Part 2 - Day 1

Unit 7: Short Stories, Plays, and Elements of Fiction
Lesson 4 of 8

Objective: SWBAT will read nonfiction texts and complete enrichment activities in order to build a greater understanding of the complex text, "The Bet" by Anton Chekhov.

Big Idea: Connections across texts and time periods enrich the reader's experience.

  Print Lesson
English / Language Arts, Vocabulary, informational text, analyze details and draw conclusions, social issues
  45 minutes
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