Novel Discussion, Day Five

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Objective

Students will be able to discuss a novel by posing and responding to questions, incorporating others into discussion, and presenting their own ideas and justifications.

Big Idea

Moving beyond talking at one another--true discussion.

Do Now: Character Opinions

5 minutes

Today's do now is another quick reading check. I ask students to give their opinion (with justification) on a character in their book. This also serves as an unknowing warm-up for our focused study of RL1, making and supporting a point.

Students enjoy sharing their opinions:

"Huck is weak--he never stands up to the Duke and Dauphin."

"Antonia is not nice--she takes Jim for granted when he acts like a friend toward her."

"Richie is courageous--he could have gone home because of his health, but he chose to stay and fight because of his friends."

While I would love to hear more support, this is a good start. We'll save multiple details for support for a later lesson.

Discussion

25 minutes

When I ask students to move to discussion, there is a great deal of confusion:

After we're all settled, students begin discussion. Today is less enthusiastic than before; we seem to have lost motivation with the strange schedule of the previous week. Still, most students are on task. A visit and reminder from me is enough to get the others back on task. By the end of discussion, groups have again worked together to analyze their reading assignments for the day; the end goal is achieved.

Read

15 minutes

I again give students time to read, knowing that many students won't read at home if they aren't engaged or at least nearly done from reading in class. Students get comfortable and push further into their novels.