We begin the activator with a short discussion about who they think is the protagonist of The Birthmark and why.
For some of my students getting mentally for taking a test can be difficult because of their negative past experiences with test taking. In preparation for the test, I then ask them to think about the inner conflict Georgiana felt during the story while writing in their journals, words that come to mind which describe her feelings.
A few of my students have an attention disorder or ADHD which can add a whole new dimension to test anxiety. Before taking a test some of my students find themselves fidgety, unable to concentrate, or having difficulty recalling information even though we have reviewed the test the day before. My students with ADHD face these same symptoms on a regular basis.
Dealing with these issues can make it easier for these students to manage their anxiety taking this test. I assure them that if needed they would be able to come in after school to complete the test and that I would let them retake sections of the test.
I want my students to remember to support their points made on the open response with evidence from the text as stated in the Common Core standard RL.9-10.1, citing strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says.
Using a docucamera, I projected on a screen an open response graphic organizer, P.E.E.. The acronym P.E.E. stands for Point, Evidence and Explanation. I review the parts of this organizer which they were introduced to in a prior lesson and the importance of writing a good topic sentence as well as wrapping up the response with a complete conclusive statement which is "one that summarizes the specific points made that answered the open response prompt."
Now I want to know what my students' comprehended while reading this short story. I ask them to sit in rows and remind them that for the remainder of the class we will maintain a testing environment. I define a testing environment by saying, "No talking or distracting others in anyway."
I pass out the The Birthmark test while instructing them to review it by skimming over the questions and answering the ones they are sure about first. They are instructed to use their adapted version of The Birthmark when answering the open response prompt or The Letter to Alymer. After reviewing the completed student work, I comment on how they performed.