The Decision Behind a Choice. Using Evidence to Explain Character Motives

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SWBAT cite evidence from a poem to demonstrate an understanding of how word choice impacts the relationship and meanings to one another in context.

Big Idea

Choices: You want me to choose NOW or LATER?

Lesson Introduction

Coming of Age not only involves "growing up" but takes individuals through life experiences that requires an action of making and living with choices. This lesson will have students examine the importance of decisions as it relates to life experiences. While students are still in their "youth," they can use past and future expectations to analyze how choice and decisions work hand in hand.

Warm-Up: Thinking about Choices and Decisions

7 minutes

To hook students into this lesson, I ask them to describe the difference between a decision and a choice. Before students can answer, they must first understand the relationship that the two have with one another. Later in this lesson, students will describe the main difference and similarities of choices and decisions.

To help students think about these two ideas, I state in this video the meanings behind choices and decisions. Students must understand that decisions are derived from choices made by individuals. While the two are like Bonny & Clyde, we will always make choices that led to both good and bad outcomes.

How to Analyze Quotes

15 minutes

Students cannot understand decision-making if they never have considered the process behind individuals making decisions and choices. The main task at this point in the lesson requires students to read quotes and draw conclusions about its meaning. For students to understand this level of analysis, a Making Choices power point will be shared with students. The big ideas of the presentation require students to take apart the quote or in other words locate strong verbs and nouns to understand its meaning.

Students will work in pairs to understand the meaning of their selected quote. The quotes about choices handout includes the lesson's themes about making choices in life. Students work on this task prior to reading a poem about the choice a young girl makes and the decision she is forced to live with in her future. 

Independent Practice: Poem & Text-Dependent Questions

25 minutes

Poetry is so MUCH FUN to READ if the environment is set-up correctly for students to encounter the contents of the poem. Because this poem depicts the decision a young woman has made above LOVE, it is important that the poem is read aloud to students during thier first read. Afterwards, students will read The Choice silently while underlining in two colors the "he" and "you" in the poem.

After students determine the two speakers of the poem, students answer the text-dependent questions. I give students the chance to work on the analysis questions independently, cooperatively, or with guidance from the teacher. During this time, I had a small group that I worked with to better comprehend the questions. This doesn't happen often so I JUMP at it for every chance that I get. Listen to a pair of student talk over The Choice poem to hear what others used to answer the questions. Once time is up for reading and answering questions, I go over the questions and show how other literary elements such as alliteration, repetition, symbolism, and irony are used to make this poem true to its genre.