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Title (or focus) of the Lesson: An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge Grade Level(s): 11th Time Required for Lesson Delivery: Two 45 minute classes
Purpose(s) for teaching the lesson: An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge explores
historical content (civil war) as well as high-level literary elements and techniques that introduce complexity to stories, which will help students foster critical thinking skills as well as strategic reading skills (e.g. reading for a purpose).
Objective(s): SWBAT compare and contrast a piece of literature with a movie adaptation; SWBAT use textual examples to strengthen an interpretation of the text; SWBAT use basic fix it strategies while reading.
Reading • Standard 2 – Students will read for literary response and expression. o Compare a film, video, or stage version of a literary work with the written version. • Standard 3 – Students will read for critical analysis and evaluation. o Form opinions and make judgments about the validity of interpretive texts. • Standard 4 – Students will read for social interaction. o Share reading experiences with a peer or adult. Writing • Standard 2 – Students will write for literary response and expression. o Maintain a portfolio that includes literary, interpretive, and responsive writing. Speaking • Standard 4 – Students will speak for social interaction. o Respond respectfully. Listening • Standard 3 – Students will listen for critical analysis and evaluation. o Determine point of view, clarify positions, make judgments, and form opinions. o Evaluate the impact of the medium on the message. Materials: A. Materials for Teacher Use: Whiteboard, Marker, Short Story, Short Film, Television B. Materials for Student Use: Pencil, Pen, Short Story, journal
I. Opening: I will begin with asking students if they think books that go strictly in chronological order and doesn’t deviate is exciting or boring and why they think it is either exciting or boring. I assume that many of the students will say it is boring because it is predictable, to easy to read, etc. I will then introduce the idea that many critics agree that it is
boring which is why we are going to look at a piece of literature that flirts with temporal manipulation, deviation between strictly narration and plot, and reality. II. Body:
Step One: Selecting the text – The selected text is An Occurrence at Owl Creek Farm. I chose this short story because 11th graders have already learned most of, if not all of, the basic literary devices and construction. This piece, unlike others they have read, explores other ways in which students can take there writing and understanding of texts. It explores temporal manipulation and blurs the gap between reality and imagination, which makes its meaning or intent grey rather than black or white. The text works well because in order for students to infer their understanding of the text they must use examples and critically think rather than simply look at the plot. It also introduces an uncommon understanding of the civil war in that the protagonist is from the south. In respect to the civil war texts rarely sympathize with the south, which can show students that they can bend the rules a little when it comes to conventional thinking. Step Two: Introducing the text – Prior to reading this short story I will discuss with the students some of the key factors that they should note while reading. I will discuss with them temporal manipulation and how the story goes back and forth in time as well as sometimes out of plot all together. I will tell them to take a notice to the narration and how this is done. This will give the students several aspects of the short story to focus on and take note while reading (e.g. reading with a purpose in mind). There are several unfamiliar words used in the short story, mostly because of when this short story was written. Words such as ramification, luminous, poignant, and undulations will be explained prior to reading the short story. I will tell the students that if they find any words they do not understand while they are reading they can place a mark next to it and either I will help them with the word or they can look it up via a dictionary. The markings
will be used later in the class.
Step Three: Reading the text – All of the students read all of the text silently. The story is relatively short and should take the students about 15 minutes to read. While they are reading and focusing on the aspects I mentioned above I will also have them do what I call a +, -, ? exercise. The + is something they liked about the story, the – is something they didn’t like, and the ? is something they didn’t understand. Step Four: Discussing the text – The teacher and students talk about some aspect of the text, confer about misunderstandings, respond to the text, and go over complex vocabulary. It would be at this time I ask students to discuss their +, -, ?. They must use examples when illustrating why they liked something or why they didn’t (for example, a student cannot simply say they liked they part where he was going to be hung because it was cool). We will also go over the vocabulary that they didn’t understand. Even though I helped them with this throughout their reading I find it imperative to still discuss it because more times than not a student didn’t want to tell me that they didn’t know something and can understand that in the future other students might not have gotten that very same thing making it more of a possibility that the student would ask for my help. Step Five: Teaching for strategies – After discussing the misconceptions and unknown
vocabulary, I will ask students for suggestions on how to minimize some of these misconception and vocabulary use. For example, I would ask students if they have any useful fix it strategies that help them understand words they don’t know the meaning of. I would list them on the board and show some of the methods I use, such as breaking down the words by looking at its suffix and prefix as well as the context of the sentence. Step Six: Extending meaning (This will be the start of the second day) – Students will watch the short film adaptation of the short story. Prior to watching this I will tell the students to pay attention to the same things they paid attention to while reading the story, noting what differences, if any, as the story goes through a different medium. They will then divide into groups of 3 and discuss their findings. After that they will get share with the class. When this is done they will go back to their respective seats and write a journal entry. The journal entry will be on this question “Now that you have read a short story and saw a movie adaptation did you find either one of them to be more effective? Did the way you understood the short story differ from that of the movie? Why is that (think literary device and technique)? III. Closing: The closing of this lesson will be a self-assessment assignment. Students will write on an index card the answer to these questions (scale 1-10). “How well did I understand this lesson? How well did the teacher explain the lesson? Did the lesson stay on target? Did you enjoy the lesson?
I. Assessment Methods and Evaluation A. B. II. Assessment: Assessment will be based off of the in class discussions as well as the journal entry. Evaluation: The in class discussion will have no real evaluation, but the journal entry will be based out of 10 points.
Self-assessment/reflection: A. Teacher self-assessment: I will review the students’ assessment of the lesson and how they thought it went. I will also write a journal entry of what I noticed throughout the lesson. This will be anything from whether I noticed that many of the students looked bored; didn’t understand the lesson all too well, or the students seemed genuinely engaged. Student self-assessment & Student Assessment of Instruction: At the end of the lesson (see closure) they have to answer 4 questions about the lesson and how it was prepared.
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