Reflection: Intrinsic Motivation Dystopian Novels: Book Club Meeting Three - Section 2: Blog Post Work Time


The lesson image/blog post sample posted in today's lesson came from an incredible conversation/blog post that one of my students posted after today's class. She and I chatted a little during her group discussion when she called me over to ask about an idea she was trying to get her head around. 

In her novel, The Handmaid's Tale, there is a passage that talks about the flowers in the garden of the commander. Offred, the main character notices that these flowers are dying as the seasons change. My student noticed this particular quote on page 153, “The tulips have had their moment and are done, shedding their petals one by one like teeth” and called me over to share what she thought it meant.

If you read her blog post, you will notice that she likens Offred and the other handmaids to flowers, which, once lacking in usefulness, will die. What is exciting (beyond this great symbolic interpretation of the text) is that this student took her theory and went to do more research. She had watched a documentary about the symbolism in dreams and found out that when a person dreams of teeth falling out, it can symbolize a woman's thwarted desire to bear children. She then went to do more research on this imagery and then came back to class to see what I thought about her interpretation. 

Well, needless to say, I was pretty impressed by her intrinsic motivation to go out and learn more about the symbol she thought she was seeing. The most exciting thing, though, is that this student wasn't your typical "English" kid at the beginning of the year. It wasn't until we read A Tale of Two Cities that I really saw her engage in my class deeply. At our parent/teacher conferences in February, her dad told me that she has fallen in love with literature so much she is now considering becoming an English teacher. I think she's well on her way to successful completion of this goal and I am so excited to be able to share her thinking with you today. =) 

  Incredible Student Thinking
  Intrinsic Motivation: Incredible Student Thinking
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Dystopian Novels: Book Club Meeting Three

Unit 14: Literary: Dystopian Fiction Literature Circles
Lesson 10 of 13

Objective: SWBAT demonstrate their preparedness for collaborative discussion by sharing their research, reading and analysis with their book club groups.

Big Idea: More than halfway through our books and analysis. Time to really dig into why the authors are doing what they are doing!

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