September 15, 2017
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By Byron Delcomb

Lesson plan

Head to Head Fiction Reflections

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Do you need extra help for EL students? Try the Figuring Out the ThemePre-lesson.
EL Adjustments
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Do you need extra help for EL students? Try the Figuring Out the ThemePre-lesson.

Students will analyze fiction themes using dynamic graphic organizers for reading reflections.

The adjustment to the whole group lesson is a modification to differentiate for children who are English learners.
EL adjustments
(10 minutes)
  • Brainstorm with your students several details about each of the following stories: "Goldilocks and the Three Bears" and "The Three Little Pigs."
  • Post and take notes on a T-chart labeled with sections for "G.A.T.T.B." ("Goldilocks and the Three Bears") and "T.L.P" ("The Three Little Pigs").
  • Ask your students to turn to a neighbour and share what life lesson or repeating details come up in either tale.
  • Have students share out something they shared or overheard as a class and note student responses on the T-chart in the corresponding columns.
  • Explain that ThemeOften comes in two types. The first is a Repeating ideaWhere the author uses repetition of literary devices (i.e., text, phrases, or events) to make a point. Another form is one that describes a lesson about life. For instance, "It's important to have a secure home," could be an inferred Life-lesson themeFor both G.A.T.T.B. and T.L.P.
  • Share that in the following lesson your students will learn to identify, compare, and contrast theme-related details between fiction texts.
(5 minutes)
  • Display and complete the Head to Head Fiction: Themes graphic organizer with details from G.A.T.T.B. and T.L.P. in front of your class using the "It’s important to have a secure home" life-lesson theme for both stories. (Note: some students may make a case for the repeating idea theme type, as both stories use text repetition to heighten dramatic effect. Either choice is fine!)
  • Point out to your students how theme details belong in specific parts of the diagram. Details include:
    • The three bears' door is open so Goldilocks trespasses by entering the home.
    • Two little pigs built their homes with less-secure materials so the Big Bad Wolf destroyed them.
    • The trespasser in the T.L.P. was a wolf.
    • The trespasser in G.A.T.T.B. was a young blonde girl.
    • In the end of T.L.P., the Wolf was boiled in a pot.
    • In the end of the G.A.T.T.B., Goldilocks ran away.
  • Clarify with your students which items go in each part of the (Venn) diagram and why.
(10 minutes)
  • Distribute class sets of the Head to Head Fiction: Themes graphic organizer and one of two short fiction texts.
  • Read, discuss, and agree on a text theme and type with your students. Guide your students to fill out the Head to Head Fiction: Themes graphic organizer.
(15 minutes)
  • Distribute the second short fiction text to student pairs and assign your students to flip and complete the Head to Head Fiction: Themes graphic organizer comparing both short fiction texts by theme.

Support:

  • Offer three to four fiction text selections for student choice, differentiated by reading level. Selections should be limited to two to three pages of print.

Enrichment:

  • Have students use a double-sided Head to Head Fiction: Themes graphic organizer that compares one of two types of theme on either side (e.g., one side compares two texts with life-lesson themes and the other side compares texts with themes defined by repetitive elements for literary effect).
  • Have students complete the Head to Head Fiction: Protagonists and Challenges worksheet.
  • Have students complete the Head to Head Fiction: Problems and Solutions worksheet.
  • With a computer, internet access, and a projector, you can reference the link to watch Sandra Cisneros reading her story "Eleven." Watch it together and compare it to another short fiction text!
(10 minutes)
  • Show your students four statements:
    • A "lesson about life" statement (e.g., "You can’t always get what you want.")
    • A "repeating idea" statement (e.g., "In every outdoor scene throughout the story, church bells ring.")
    • Another of the above two types of statements (e.g., "A hummingbird is always at the window.")
    • A completely unrelated statement (e.g., "The lead character ate three hamburgers.")
  • Ask your students to show you a statement by show of fingers, tell you if it is a theme, and if so, what kind.
(10 minutes)
  • DISCUSS: What common themes, truths, or experiences do you share with characters from stories of other places and times?

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