Alexandria City Public Schools Revised Lesson Plan with Descriptors

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Alexandria City Public Schools

Revised Lesson Plan with Descriptors

Name: Toenniessen/Walter Dates: April 10, 2014

Grade: 7th Subject: ELA- ELL Unit: Inequality and Social Injustice - Quarter 3

Time Frame: 1 Day

Standard: 7. 5 a,e,f

Stage One: Desired Results

Stage Two: Assessment Evidence

Essential Question:

  • Open-ended, interpretive questions reflecting on the “big ideas” of the unit designed to promote inquiry.

  • Typically they begin- Why? How? or To What Extent?

How can texts give us insights into ourselves and the human condition?
What motivates us? How does character motivation influence the outcomes and events in a story?

Pre- Assessment:

  • How will students show that they have the required background-knowledge to complete the lesson?

  • How will previous student learning data be used to differentiate instruction?

Team Huddle -

Name the 5 methods of characterization

(Reveal student answers on board using pre-made posters)

Mastery Objective(s):

  • What knowledge, skills or procedures, aligned with the standard do students need to master?

  • What higher-level thinking action will students demonstrate?

  • Written in SMART form (Specific, Measureable, Attainable, Relevant, Time-bound) and must contain the criteria/metric used to determine whether students have met the objective.

Students will apply the known methods of characterization to understand character motivation in Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred Taylor.
Students will read closely in the novel to determine textual evidence that reveals character attitude and motivation.

Formative Assessment:

  • How will students’ progress towards the mastery objective(s) be monitored and assessed?

  • How will feedback be provided to students so that teacher and students may adjust the learning process?


Excerpt Analysis and Annotation -students will read closely in the excerpt provided to understand the characteristics of Ma and her motivation in the scene. Students will highlight the passage to demonstrate their understanding.

Exit - Students will complete interactive notebook with character motivations from each participating group's findings.

Summative Assessment:

  • How will students’ mastery of the objective(s) described in stage one be formally assessed?

ACPS Grade 7 Q 3 - (taken from previous quarter to reflect content teaching in History to support background knowledge needed to understand the novel)

Transfer Task Scoring at least 3 out of 4.

Character Analysis - Students will analyze the causes and sources of inequality depicted in the novel Roll of Thunder Hear My Cry. They will consider how social, economic, and cultural forces affect Cassie Logan, the novel’s protagonist.

Stage Three: The Learning Plan

Teacher Moves

Student Moves

Differentiation / Language Acquisition

Framing the Learning/Warm Up/Activator:

  • How will the learning be connected to the EQ/ big ideas of the unit?

  • How will the mastery objective be communicated?

  • How will teacher(s) use an activator to surface students’ knowledge and misconceptions?

Time Frame:

5 minutes

Introduce the goal of the day - "Today we will be looking closely at three of my favorite characters in Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry. A few we have seen major actions from, but we have not discussed the motivation behind those actions. "
Activate Prior Knowledge: In your group/Team, quickly recall the major methods of characterization - how do we learn about a character? I will give you 30 seconds to discuss, and then each team should be prepared to share one example."
(Teacher will set timer and circulate briefly around the room )

Teacher will ask each group to reveal a method of characterization - removing the paper on the poster to reveal a correct answer. Students that answer correctly as a group will each receive a T-buck.

Share objectives with Students. Note that today's activity will provide feedback on this as well as end of unit test and Transfer Task. Do a quick overview of daily objective.

Students will listen as teacher explains goal for the day, as well as activator.

Students will discuss as a team the major methods of characterization as a way to activate prior knowledge. Students will share what they recall from previous instruction.

Students will receive a T-buck as an example of extrinsic motivation for correct answers.
Students will understand the objective of the daily activity as teacher explains.

As listed, ELL teacher will indicate posters in back of room to refresh students' memories as well as write key words on the board when needed.

Active Instruction:

  • How will teacher(s) explicitly present information, model and instruct students towards mastery of the lesson objective(s)?

  • How will teachers transition between learning experiences?

  • What resource materials will be used to enhance student learning?

Time Frame:

10 minutes

"Before we look at some of the more complicated characters in the story, let's practice looking as a class at one of the characters in the beginning of the novel."
(Distribute excerpt from pg. 25 - Ma's interaction with Ms. Crocker. )
Read aloud to class, highlighting effective fluency, dialect, and tone to foster a better understanding in lower level language learners.
Ask students to look for each method of characterization, one at a time, and record their thoughts on the graphic organizer.
"Now that we have learned about the character from the text, what can we say is her motivation in this excerpt? Why does she react that way?"

Students will receive of an excerpt from a page in the beginning of the novel on which to record their thoughts about the character
Students will listen as the teacher reads the excerpt - underlining anything they believe gives us hints about the character.
In each group, students will discuss the methods of characterization they see, one at a time. Students will share their thoughts with the teacher.
Students will record the responses on their graphic organizer, similar to the activity they will be doing in small groups.
Students will answer what they believe is the character's motivation in that excerpt.

ELL teacher will provide a copy to lower-level ELL students with the text including bolded key words with definitions.
Lower-level ELL students are expected to identify examples, but may respond to the questions in the form of a picture or in their first language.


  • How will work towards or mastery of the objective(s) be demonstrated?

  • How will evidence be gathered of student learning?

  • How will higher-level thinking be incorporated?

  • How will students who need more help due to misconceptions or gaps in prior learning be assisted?

  • How will students who need to go deeper be addressed?

Time Frame:

20 minutes

"Now that we have looked at a character together, I am going to ask you to look at a character in your small group. Each group will be assigned a different character to look at, and will fill out a poster like the one you just completed to understand the ultimate motivation of your character in the book."

(Students will open the folder containing their character excerpts and their task.)

(Distribute group posters)
"Using the poster for your group, you will work collectively to record examples of the character and how they Taylor has chosen to characterize them - you will have the remaining time to begin work, and we will share your responses at the end of the activity. Make sure your examples work toward understanding WHY the character reacts in this book. What motivates them?"
Teachers will circulate around the room, addressing the questions from each group and probing if need be.
At the end of 20 minutes, teachers will stop group work to direct students to their interactive notebooks. All students will be asked to record the motivation of the different characters in the appropriate section of the chart.

Students will receive posters and excerpts to begin exploring their character.

Students will record the means of characterization on the group poster, using textual evidence to support that example.
Students will work for 15-20 minutes as a group, finding evidence in the excerpts provided as well as looking for further examples to support their character from the book.

Students will share out as a group for the entire class, and their poster will be displayed on the wall for future reference.

Students will use the characterization chart in their interactive notebooks to record the groups' findings. Students will look specifically at what motivates the character to act.

ELL teacher will provide students with iPad dictionaries.

The activity is leveled by how explicit the text examples are. Those students identifying characterization for T.J. have more explicit examples with changed vocabulary to reduce the number of dialect-based words that would not be recognizable to non-native speakers. Additionally, for the level 1 students who are not yet able to identify examples from a text, the students will draw a picture of the character based on their interpretation of the characterization OR (depending on time) underline the specific words that describe those characters in the teacher-provided examples.

Summarizing/Anchoring the Learning:

  • How will the learning be summarized?

  • How will the learning be connected to the MO and EQ?

Time Frame:

13 minutes

In your teams, create a Character Template like I did with the excerpts that reveal the direct and indirect methods of characterization. Record the evidence on the poster, and be prepared to share what your character's motivation is with the class.

Create the poster to display that information.

Students work in teams to create a similar template as the one provided at the beginning of class. Teachers rotating around the class and monitoring team work.

Complete the characterization table in the Interactive notebook, focusing on character motivation. Students will share their information on each character.
Complete exit activity. See Formative Assessment Above.

Because students are working in teams, lower-level ELL students will get language and activity support from their peers. Additionally, one teacher will model the completion of the interactive notebook, providing an example for students who do not have the vocabulary to write on their own.

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