Lesson Plan #2 – Book Group/Literature Circle



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Lesson Plan #2 – Book Group/Literature Circle


The Green Book, Jill Paton Walsh

Reading Strategies/Procedural Example





  1. Summary: Students will work cooperatively in small groups (3-5 people) to form literary analysis groups based on an assigned feature of this text (examples: characters, setting, theme, and plot).




  1. Getting started/warm up: 15 minutes

T: Today we are going to study a very short book or long short story and the literary elements within that particular story/novel. First, let’s refresh our memories about the major literary elements that you have probably already learned about in previous Language Arts classes.


S: Characters


S: Main idea
T: Good, thank you.

Pre-Reading: The necessary vocabulary and terminology is given before reading the text and focusing on certain points.

[Teacher distributes the photocopies which include terminology]

T: ... Let’s talk about the terminology of a short story or novel. Are they fiction or non-fiction? Now what’s fiction? Don’t look at your notes immediately; let’s just start a dialogue okay?


S: What is a dialogue?


T: It is an open discussion where we brainstorm ideas with each other.
S: I was taught that fiction is fact and non-fiction is not necessarily true, but could be based on the truth.

T: Thank you. Fiction is generally thought of as the opposite of fact but that’s not right. Fiction can be based on facts, too. We can say that a short story or novel is a form of fiction which is narrative and generally tells a sequence of events within a certain time and place. A short story is by definition a shorter version of a novel. What about the elements of a short story?

S: Do you mean like characters?


T: Well yes. Point of view, setting, style, character, plot and theme are all examples of story and novel elements. What do you know about these?


S: I never heard of point of view.


T: Point of view is the focus from which the story was written. It can be 1st person or 3rd person. Also, it can be omniscient (all knowing) or limited knowledge. What do we mean by these? If the story is told with "I did ...., I saw...., when I woke up..." its first person narration and that is its 1st person point of view.


T: According to this we can say that third person point of view is when the narration is "He was walking down..., she started to laugh..." When the narrator (who tells the story, the owner of the point of view) knows what’s on each characters’ mind, their heart, psychology, that means all-knowing; omniscient. When the narrator knows only what’s seen or what can be guessed-maybe like the reader, it is limited point of view, not omniscient.

(Question and brainstorming continues between teacher and student, but the teachers general concluding explanations are as follows):

Setting is the location, time and culture in which the story takes place.
Style is the author’s selection of the descriptive details and sentence structures, etc....
I am sure you all know about character; it refers to the people that the writer creates for that particular story.

Plot is the patter of action or story-line. Every story/novel has a beginning, a middle and an end, the plot involves those and the climax-the most exciting part of a story or the turning point- as well as maybe flashbacks-which is going back in time from where you are at in the sequence of the story. This is a creative device that the writer chooses; you don’t go back and read, but the characters remember or think or dream etc...

And the last one is the theme or major idea of a story. Remember it can be challenging to find only one major theme among sometimes many sub-themes...



  1. Review from previous day: “Yesterday we reviewed what characteristics would make a science fiction text considered to be good. As you are each making your final decisions about your selection from the short story list, together we will read one of my favorites, The Green Book by Jill Paton Walsh.”



  1. Lesson Plan: 45 min




  • Hand out books

  • Specifically do not introduce or summarize the book

  • Assign groups and literary element/focus angle (plot, theme, characters, setting, climax)

  • Assign chapters for homework (1-2 tonight, 3-4, and then 5-7) so all students will be at the same place during each class meeting.

  • Introduce a generic story map and explain how to use it.

  • Provide a list of sample questions for group reflection relating to each groups’ assigned literary element. Explain that these will help to guide their group’s short responses to explain that element within the context of The Green Book.

  • Ask if there are any questions.


  1. Points/Objectives of lesson:




  • To simulate and model the expected end-result for students oral critique/review presentations (as introduced in the lesson prior to this).

  • To further investigate as a group, the unique aspects of the Science Fiction genre.
  • To learn to evaluate the highlights of good literature through specific examples and references in the text.


  • To incorporate vocabulary learning within the context of literature (refer to next lesson plan).

  • To set up a framework for productive reading groups/literature circles.

  • To encourage and support cooperative learning environments.

  • To promote a greater appreciation for all literature and its relevance to our lives (both the importance of reading and writing literature is in fact one of the overriding major themes of The Green Book).

Competency Goal 1.03: Interact appropriately in group settings by contributing relevant comments connecting personal experiences to content and monitoring own understanding of the discussion and seeking clarification as needed.


Competency Goal 5.01: Increase fluency, comprehension, and insight through a meaningful and comprehensive reading program by i) using effective reading strategies to match type of text, ii) discussing literature in small group discussions and iii) interpreting text by explaining elements such as plot, theme, point of view, characterization, mood, and style.
Competency Goal 5.02: Study the characteristics of literary genres by i) interpreting what impact genre-specific characteristics have on the meaning of work, ii) exploring how the author’s choice and use of genre shapes the meaning of the literary work, and iii) exploring what impact literary elements have on the meaning of the text such as the influence of setting or the problem and its resolution.
NCTE/IRA Standards

  1. Students read a wide range of texts to build an understanding of texts, of themselves, and of the cultures of the world including fiction and nonfiction.





  1. Students read a wide range of literature from many periods in many genres to build an understanding of many human dimensions (e.g., philosophical, ethical, aesthetic).




  1. Students apply a wide range of strategies to comprehend, interpret, evaluate, and appreciate texts.

11. Students participate as knowledgeable, reflective, creative, and critical members of a variety of literacy communities.




  1. Evaluation: “After completion of the book in class, each group will turn in a collective story map as well as a short response concerning their particular assigned element (characters, setting, theme, climax, or plot). This overview will also include a list of questions that you may have had during your group discussions of the book.”




  1. Materials needed:




  • Individual copies of The Green Book

  • Hand out – Literary Terminology

  • Group assignments ahead of class time based on a cross-section of reading ability levels.

  • Sample story map

  • Sample group guidelines (sorted by theme, plot, characters, setting, and climax categories).

  • Rubric for story-maps and literary element responses.



  1. Guided Practice: “I will do my model oral presentation on this book prior to each of you doing yours so you will have a good idea of what I expect. Also, attached is a rubric that will help guide your groups as you together do one story map and one literary angle response paper for the Green Book to turn in to me on the last day of this unit.”





  1. Independent Practice: “For your oral presentations, you can choose any reading/critique strategy that you think will be helpful to you, but you must address each of the Science Fiction questions provided yesterday and specifically refer to the Handout- What Makes for Good Science Fiction? Note cards are a good idea for the final presentation, but try not to rely on them exclusively.”




  1. Closure/Expectations: “Please begin reading chapters 1 and 2 of The Green Book (remainder for homework, if applicable) after you have selected your chosen individual short story from yesterday’s Science Fiction short story list.” Teacher answers questions during this time period as well. 30 minutes



http://www.lessonplanspage.com/LACreativeWayToComprehendElementsOfShortStory48.htm
http://www.cas.usf.edu/lis/lis6585/class/lite/em.htm/
Terminology of Short Stories
Fiction: The created text which are narrative and aim to express the feelings and ideas of the writer within a sequence of events, using the created characters and settings. It can have factuality; it doesn’t have to be the opposite of facts. Some examples of fiction can be; novels, short stories, fables, jokes etc...

Short Story: Short story can be defined as the short version of novel. A sequence of events being told with fewer details than a novel.

Narration: It’s telling a story. Each story has a narrator that talks about the events, characters and describes the setting, it is called the narration/narrator-who narrates.


Point of View: Point of view is from which focus the story is told. It can be first person or third person point of view and it can be all-knowing (omniscient) or limited knowing. First person point of view is when "I" is used; the third person point of view is "He & She" is used. When the narrator knows everything about everyone, what they think, feel and what their psychology is like; it’s called omniscient-all knowing. When the narrator knows as much as the reader-what s/he sees or maybe a little bit more it’s limited knowing.

Setting: It’s the time, place and culture in which the story took place.

Style: It’s the selection of words, sentence structures and language arts that the writer uses for details and descriptions. Irony, symbolism, metaphor can be examples of these...

Character: The people of the story that the writer created particularly for that story.

Plot: The pattern of action in a story. The beginning of the story may not be the beginning of the action. Climax is included in plot and it means that the peak of events, the most exciting part of the events. It can be supported with flashbacks-which are going back in time of the story within the story. Plot’s ending point is the resolution of the story.

Theme: It’s the major idea of the story. It’s generally the most challenging element of the story as it’s often confused with the sub-ideas.

Climax: The point at which the outcome of the conflict can be predicted.


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