Context of the Lesson

This unit focuses on exploring, breaking down, and understanding the use of literary devices in The Outsiders so students can have knowledge of the different components that make up narratives. Students will 1st learn how to identify different literary devices within the chapters of The Outsiders. By the end of the unit students will be able to have a better understanding specifically of mode/tone, setting, symbolism, and biases through participating in discussions and activities.

The students will be able to have an understanding of the literary devices tone and mode and be able to identify where it shows up in The Outsiders by writing responses to reading questions.

  1. Students will begin by completing a warm-up writing prompt that will begin to introduce the students to mode/tone
  2. Students will complete a reading reflection by responding to specific questions that deal with identifying mood/tone in the chapter along with other main ideas. 
  3. Students will complete filling out their literary device organizers with mood/tone covered in chapter 5. The teacher will walk around observing and the ideas will be discussed out loud as a class. 

Strategy Used

The strategy that I used was think, pair, and share. Throughout this unit plan and this specific lesson, I had plenty of times woven into the instruction where this strategy would show up. Prime examples of this were after any of the write-up times. This could have included either the warm-up questions or the reading responses. I had students think about the answers to the questions and or what they had written or organized their thoughts into. After the thinking, they were asked to share their ideas and such with partners at their tables. The fact that the partners were already chosen by expectation that it was their table mates checked off one of the parts in which Jennifer Gonzales said was key to getting the most out of this strategy in her post of it. Another one of the checklist elements that was being done, was that I wouldn’t just sit at my desk chair or be on my computer while this was happening, but rather I would walk around, listen to the conversations being taken place, and engage and respond to the conversations. The last element that was present from this checklist was that after students had gotten the opportunity to share in pairs, I mostly always opened it up to the class and had at least a couple people share out loud to the whole class their ideas.

What I learned from the experience

I learned that this strategy was great and effective for many of the same reasons upon which Jennifer highlights in her post. First and foremost, this was a helpful strategy because it served to break the content into smaller size pieces. The reading and deeper understanding of The Outsiders text and such is a lot of work and can be complex and overwhelming. This strategy allows students easier and more wholesome opportunity to interact with the text and their ideas and their thoughts. Another reason is that it allows the students to be active in the classroom and in their learning. The students are no longer just sitting there all day and just getting information. They are doing work to verbally process it and be able to take ownership of their learning. The last big benefit is the idea that it gives an opportunity for me to formally assess the students. Just by toning in to the conversations and engagement of the students, I am able to begin to grasp an idea of those students who are understanding the content at hand and those who might need more guidance and help.

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