Trust me when I say...you need to read to the end of this post in order to check out this giveaway! :)
My 8th grade students are still working through the Walt Whitman Introductory unit, and I'm loving the results! I showed you last week how we started off close reading together "O Me! O Life!" and created the keys to use for Close Reading.
Here is how the second day of modeling in class looked, where we finished up Plot, Setting, Connections, and Theme.
Notice how even comments like "World War Z" get written down, because it's their connection. The student said that the crammed cities and towns reminded him of that movie, so if they can explain it, and it helps them connect to the text, we should write it down. Their homework Tuesday night was to go home and close read "O Captain! My Captain!" on their own. Now- almost EVERY student did this, and those that didn't had started but didn't finish. I was pretty impressed. Out of my 40+ students I only had 3 No Assignment Forms turned in for this one.
After we checked in the close reading, we moved on to the next page in their ISN to review Types of Questions from last year. This is something in our Pearson book that I loved!
We discussed how, as the questions continue, they get progressively more difficult.
#1 questions are "easy" questions that they can find just by looking at the text or inferencing.
Example Question: "Who is one of the main characters in The Little Prince?" Students said "The Little Prince" even if they hadn't read it, because they could inference that he was probably one of the main characters.
#2 questions are also fairly easy, but we look at the outline of the poem and how it's written rather than what is written.Example Question 1: "What form of poetry does Dr. Seuss usually use for writing?" Answer: Rhyming.
Example Question 2: "What form of meter does Shakespeare utilize in writing?" Answer: Iambic Pentameter.
#3 questions are like our Shared Inquiry questions. They require evidence from the text, and support for the evidence. There can be multiple answers, or the answer requires more thought.
Example Question: Which theme is most prevalent in the novel Night?
Once this was done, I assigned partners and students had to write two questions for each type with their partner. We finished this in about 20-25 minutes with me walking around and helping. Students had to use BOTH poems in their #3 question. For their other questions, they each had to be about one of the poems, and they couldn't be the same question. They also did not need to answer their own questions.
I loved seeing their process as they went through this, remembering from last year how they formulated these questions.
When they finished, we shared our #3 questions and decided which ones we liked best. This was a moment of truth for me, because I always formulate shared inquiry questions ahead of time, and I was relying on them coming up with awesome questions. They did not disappoint! Check out what their questions ended up being and you be the judge!
My first group of the day:
Group #1: Which of the two poems has a meaning that is more relevant to modern society?
Group #2: Based on the two poems, what can you infer about Walt Whitman’s general outlook on life?
Second group of the day:
Group #1: Identify the theme of each poem. How are the themes of each poem alike and different?
Group #2: What events in modern history would influence Walt Whitman if he was alive and writing today? What tone does Walt Whitman use in both poems, and would he still have the same tone to his poetry today?
Students started prepping for their shared inquiry, and will get two days in class this time. Then each group will have a class period to discuss, while the other group does the close reading for non-fiction.
So...in honor of my love of close reading AND fall, I'm doing a giveaway!!
The winner will receive a $10 Starbucks gift card, my favorite new fall candle "Pumpkin Pie Diner" by Glade, a copy of Readicide by Kelly Gallagher, and a travel mug!
*I was not reimbursed or compensated for these prizes, I just wanted to share my fall faves with you! :)
Here's how to enter:
Ends Thursday, Happy Labor Day!