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West Virginia State University

College of Professional Studies: Department of Education


LESSON PLAN FORMAT

Teacher Candidate: Jennifer Herscher Date: 11/3/18


School: Grade/Subject: 10th grade English
Lesson Topic: American Born Chinese – Theme and Structure

INSTRUCTIONAL OBJECTIVES/ STUDENT OUTCOMES


1. Students will be able to dissect a parallel plot structure and identify the ways in which the separate
narratives are connected.
2. Students will be able to analyze the effect of parallel plot structures on a story’s theme and character
development.

WV CCRs
ELA.10.3 - Analyze how complex characters (e.g., those with multiple or conflicting motivations) develop over the
course of a literary text, interact with other characters, and affect the plot or develop the theme.

ELA.10.8 - Analyze how an author’s choices concerning how to structure a literary text, order events within it (e.g.,
parallel plots), and manipulate time (e.g., pacing or flashbacks) contribute to its overall structure and
create such effects as mystery, tension, or surprise

NATIONAL STANDARDS
NCTE.1 - Students read a wide range of print and non-print texts to build an understanding of texts, of
themselves, and of the cultures of the United States and the world; to acquire new information; to
respond to the needs and demands of society and the workplace; and for personal fulfillment. Among
these texts are fiction and nonfiction, classic and contemporary works.

NCTE.2 - Students read a wide range of literature from many periods in many genres to build an understanding of
the many dimensions (e.g., philosophical, ethical, aesthetic) of human experience.

ASSESSMENT

Diagnostic/Pre-Assessment:
Begin class with a teacher-led discussion; ask the following questions about American Born Chinese:
 “What do you notice about structure of this story?
 “How is it different than most books you’ve read?”

Review the lesson from the day before, asking students to recall what they learned about the theme of
“identity” in this book.

Assessing their understanding of the previous lesson is important if you want to make connections between
theme and structure.

Formative Assessment
Assess the students’ ability to construct the story’s three parallel plots using the index cards.
The Venn diagram activity can be assessed to determine how much guidance students still need before writing
their reading response paragraphs.

Summative:
Students will write a one-paragraph (5-8 sentences) response that will be worth a total of 50 points -- 20
points per response, 10 points for grammar/spelling. Their writing will be in response to the following
questions:
1. How does the story’s parallel plot structure help develop the identity theme?
2. How might the story be different if the hidden identities and alter egos were known from the
beginning of the story?

MANAGEMENT FRAMEWORK

Overall Time: - 60 min


Time Frame: 5 min – anticipatory set
5 min – introduction
15 min – structure analysis (cards activity)
5 min – parallel plot discussion
20 min – compare and contrast activity
10 min – reading response assignment

DIFFERENTIATED INSTRUCTION/ ADAPTATIONS/ INTERVENTIONS


Learning Styles:
Visual – graphic novel; visualizing the plot structure with index cards; Venn diagrams to compare/contrast
Auditory – class and group discussions; definitions and instructions read aloud as well as written
Kinesthetic – using index cards to map the plot(s); Venn diagrams construction
Learning Levels:
High achievers – Venn diagram and reading response assignment prompt critical thinking and
analysis/synthesis of content knowledge
Low achievers – collaborative groups, class discussions, graphic novel, relatable content about teen identity
Reluctant Readers – graphic novel, relatable content about teen identity

PROCEDURES

1. ANTICIPATORY SET
Begin class with a teacher-led discussion; ask the following questions about American Born Chinese:
 “What do you notice about structure of this story?
 “How is it different than most books you’ve read?”

2. INTRODUCTION
Review the lesson from the day before, asking students to recall what they learned about the theme of
“identity” in this book. What is the message Gene Luen Yang is trying to make about identity?

Connect the previous lesson with today’s objectives:


“Today we are going to look at the structure of this novel and how it helps develop that theme of identity.”

3. BODY & TRANSITIONS


Give the students 13 small, numbered index cards and put this list on the smart board.
1. Jin Wang kisses Wei-Chen’s girlfriend
2. Revealed: Chin-Kee = Monkey King
3. Chin-Kee comes to visit Danny
4. Jin Wang finds Wei-Chen – Acceptance
5. Revealed: Danny = Jin Wang
6. Monkey King gets buried
7. Wei-Chen revealed as Monkey King’s son
8. Danny’s girlfriend breaks up with him
9. Monkey King crashes the party in heaven
10. Chin-Kee and Danny/Jin fight
11. Jin perms his hair
12. Jin meets Wei-Chen
13. The Monkey King saves the monk
Put the students in groups of 3 or 4 and tell them to create a single plot line, placing the cards in the same
order as the events occur in the novel.

Ask for volunteers to share the order of their cards. (Keep asking until a group gets it all right.)
Correct order – 9, 12, 3, 6, 11, 8, 13, 1, 5, 10, 2, 7, 4
If none get it right, tell them to refer to their books and try again.

Next, instruct students to adjust their cards in a way that separates the different storylines in the book.
MK: 9, 6, 13
JW: 12, 11, 1 JW + D/CK: 5, 10 JW + D/CK + MK: 2, 7, 4
D/CK: 3, 8

Explain the concept of parallel plots and write the following definition on the board:

Parallel Plots - The writer weaves two or more dramatic plots that are usually linked by a common
character and/or a similar theme.

Ask students: “Who can identify when the parallel plot lines converge? How do they come together?”
(#5 and again at #2 – hidden identities and alter egos are revealed)

Compare and Contrast Activity


Create a Venn Diagram to compare and contrast the two sides of Jin’s identity (Jin Wang and Danny). Consider
their physical and social identities, as they are depicted before their stories converge. Include at least one
quote from the text in each section of the diagram and cite the page number. You may work together with
your group, but each member needs to complete their own diagram.

The Venn diagram can be completed on paper or on the iPad (MS Word, Lucid Charts, Creately).

Individual Reading Response


Consider the following questions related to American Born Chinese, and write a one-paragraph (5-8 sentences)
response for each.
Scoring: 50 points possible – 20 point per response, 10 points for grammar/spelling.

1. How does the story’s parallel plot structure help develop the identity theme?
2. How might the story be different if the hidden identities and alter egos were known from the
beginning of the story?

4. CLOSURE
Ask the following questions aloud as a quick review:
 Who can tell me what parallel plots are?
 How many are there in American Born Chinese?
 Before they come together toward the end, what connects these separate plot lines?
Instruct students to finish their reading responses before class the following day.
5. ASSESSMENT
The reading response will be collected the following date as a summative assessment.

STRATEGIES
Scaffolding, teacher-led discussion, cooperative groups, graphic organizers

MATERIALS
Index cards, pencils, smart board, iPads, copies of American Born Chinese, numbered event list,

EXTENTED ACTIVITIES
If Student Finishes Early
Instruct him or her to work on the reading response

If Lesson Finishes Early


Instruct the class to work on the reading response

If Technology Fails
The events list will be read aloud and students will write each one on the corresponding index card
Venn diagrams will all be created on paper