Qualities of a Strong Literary Analysis Essay | EL Education Curriculum

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ELA 2012 G6:M3A:U2:L7

Qualities of a Strong Literary Analysis Essay

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Long Term Learning Targets

  • I can write informative/explanatory texts that convey ideas and concepts using relevant information that is carefully selected and organized. (W.6.2)
  • I can use evidence from a variety of grade-appropriate texts to support analysis, reflection, and research. (W.6.9)

Supporting Targets

  • I can find the gist of the model literary analysis essay.
  • I can determine the main ideas of a model literary analysis essay.

Ongoing Assessment

  • Model literary analysis annotations
  • Mix and Mingle class discussion

Agenda

AgendaTeaching Notes

1. Opening

A. Engaging the Reader: The Second Half of Chapter 10 of Dragonwings (5 minutes)

B. Unpacking Learning Targets (2 minutes)

2. Work Time

A. Unpacking the Prompt and Introducing the Rubric (13 minutes)

B. Reading the Model Literary Analysis for Gist (15 minutes)

C. Analyzing Content of Model Essay (5 minutes)

3. Closing and Assessment

A. Mix and Mingle: Next Steps? (5 minutes)

4. Homework

A. Read Chapter 11 of Dragonwings. Use evidence flags to identify three text details, then answer the focus question in your structured notes, using text evidence.

  • This lesson launches the end of unit assessment, in which students will write a literary analysis essay comparing how the author's purposes affect the narrator's point of view of the immediate aftermath of the earthquake in Comprehending the Calamity and Dragonwings. They must use evidence from the informational text and the novel to support their analysis.
  • The New York State Grades 6-8 Expository Writing Evaluation Rubric will be used to assess the literary analysis essays. Students will review the rubric briefly in this lesson, but they will evaluate their own writing in Lessons 9-11.
  • The model literary analysis introduced in this lesson does not have the same focus question as the student prompt. The reason for this is that a model with the same focus question would have revealed all of the necessary thinking students need to complete to write the essay. Instead, the model compares two points of view in Dragonwings and focuses on how culture and background affects point of view, rather than how author's purpose affects point of view. The model provides an organizational structure that students can replicate to order their thinking on their essay question.
  • In advance: Review the student model literary analysis (see supporting materials); review the Mix and Mingle discussion protocol.
  • Post: Learning targets.

Vocabulary

gist, main idea

Materials

  • End of Unit 2 Assessment Prompt: Point of View of the Immediate Aftermath Literary Analysis Prompt (one per student and one to display)
  • Document camera
  • New York State Grades 6-8 Expository Writing Evaluation Rubric (one per student and one to display)
  • Model literary analysis (one per student and one to display)
  • Equity sticks

Opening

OpeningMeeting Students' Needs

A. Engaging the Reader: The Second Half of Chapter 10 of Dragonwings (5 minutes)

  • Remind students that for homework they were to read Chapter 10 of Dragonwings. Ask them to Think-Pair-Share:

*   "What happens in the second half of Chapter 10?"

  • Cold call students to share their responses with the whole group. Listen for them to explain that the military forced the Chinese to leave the camp, and Moon Shadow was separated from Miss Whitlaw and Robin. The Company rebuilt their building, as did much of the city. The Whitlaws moved to Oakland, where they had to seek employment. Windrider decided to pursue his dream rather than return to the Company.
  • Opening the lesson by asking students to share their homework makes them accountable for completing it. It also gives you the opportunity to monitor which students are not doing their homework.

B. Unpacking Learning Targets (2 minutes)

  • Invite students to read the learning targets with you:

*   "I can find the gist of the model literary analysis essay."

*   "I can determine the main ideas of a model literary analysis essay."

  • Remind students of what finding the gist means.
  • Learning targets are a research-based strategy that helps all students, especially challenged learners.
  • Posting learning targets allows students to reference them throughout the lesson to check their understanding. The learning targets also provide a reminder to students and teachers about the intended learning behind a given lesson or activity.

Work Time

Work TimeMeeting Students' Needs

A. Unpacking the Prompt and Introducing the Rubric (13 minutes)

  • Distribute Point of View of the Immediate Aftermath Literary Analysis Prompt and display a copy on a document camera. Invite students to follow along with you as you read the prompt aloud. Ask them to circle any unfamiliar words. Clarify words as needed.
  • Tell students that over the next several lessons, they will analyze the point of view of the immediate aftermath of the earthquake to compare and contrast it with the point of view of Emma Burke, and they will deconstruct a model literary analysis to prepare to write their own essays.
  • Display and distribute the New York State Grades 6-8 Expository Writing Evaluation Rubric, which they are familiar with from previous modules. Remind students that you will use this rubric to assess their essays.
  • Ask students to review the criteria of the rubric with you. Select volunteers to read each of the criteria for the whole group.
  • Consider providing select students with a pre-highlighted version of the end of unit assessment that highlights the explicit actions they will need to take to complete the task.

B. Reading the Model Literary Analysis for Gist (15 minutes)

  • Display and distribute the model literary analysis.
  • Congratulate students for unwrapping the prompt for the end of unit assessment. Tell them they will now begin reading like a writer, studying a model literary analysis to see what they will be writing.
  • Read the model aloud and invite students to read it silently in their heads.
  • Turn their attention to the focus question and ask them to discuss in triads:

*   "What is the difference between the focus question in your prompt and the focus question in this model?"

  • Select students to share their responses with the whole group. Listen for them to explain that the model essay has a different topic. Instead of being about the point of view about the immediate aftermath of the earthquake, the model discusses the points of view about  dragons and the focus is on cultural perspective and background rather than author's purpose. Also the two points of view in the model are Moon Shadow's and Miss Whitlaw's, rather than Moon Shadow's and Emma Burke's.
  • Ask triads to discuss:

*   "What is this model essay mostly about?"

  • Consider using equity sticks to select students to share their responses with the whole group. Listen for them to explain that the essay is mostly about the similarities and differences between Miss Whitlaw's point of view of dragons and Moon Shadow's point of view of dragons.
  • Explain that now students will work in triads to reread and annotate each paragraph of the model literary analysis for the gist to get an idea of what each of the paragraphs is mostly about. Remind them to discuss the gist of each paragraph in their triads before recording anything.
  • Circulate and observe the annotations and invite students who are struggling to say the gist aloud to you before recording it.
  • Hearing a complex text read slowly, fluently, and without interruption or explanation promotes fluency for students; they are hearing a strong reader read the text aloud with accuracy and expression and are simultaneously looking at and thinking about the words on the printed page. Be sure to set clear expectations that students read along silently in their heads as you read the text aloud.
  • Consider allowing students to grapple with a complex text before explicit teaching of vocabulary. After students have read for gist, they can identify challenging vocabulary for themselves. Teachers can address student-selected vocabulary as well as predetermined vocabulary upon subsequent encounters with the text. However, in some cases and with some students, pre-teaching selected vocabulary may be necessary.

C. Analyzing Content of Model Essay (5 minutes)

  • Explain to students that now they will synthesize their thinking about the model literary analysis.
  • Give them a minute to review their annotations, then have them turn to a partner and discuss their annotations.
  • Invite students to share their annotations with the whole group. Ask:

*   "What are the main ideas of the model literary analysis?"

  • Select volunteers to share their responses. Listen for them to explain that the main ideas are that Moon Shadow and Miss Whitlaw have similar and different points of view about dragons, and that their points of view are influenced by their different cultures.

Closing & Assessments

ClosingMeeting Students' Needs

A. Mix and Mingle: Next Steps? (5 minutes)

  • Congratulate students for an excellent analysis of the model literary analysis. Remind them that they have written literary analysis essays throughout the year and should be familiar with some of the next steps in the writing process.
  • Invite them to refer to their Point of View of the Immediate Aftermath Literary Analysis Prompt and explain that they now will discuss the next steps they will take in writing their own literary analysis based on the prompt. Ask:

*   "What do you think your next step should be in writing this literary analysis?"

  • Invite them to participate in a Mix and Mingle discussion protocol:
  1.      Play music for 15 seconds and tell students to move around to the music.
  2. Stop the music and tell students to share their answer with the person closest to them.
  3. Ask them to consider the next step they think they need to take.
  4. Repeat 1-3 at least four times.
  • Ask students to help you make a class list of the next steps in the literary analysis writing process. Add any steps that are missing and point out that students will help create an anchor chart on the structure of a model literary analysis in the next lesson. Keep this list for them to reference during the writing process. The list could include:

-   Analyze the point of view of Moon Shadow on the immediate aftermath of the earthquake.

-   Review the point of view of Emma Burke on the immediate aftermath of the earthquake.

-   Analyze each author's purpose in each text.

-   Compare how the author's purposes have affected the narrators' points of view.

-   Draft the paragraphs of the essay.

-   Receive adult and peer feedback.

-   Revise for a final draft.

  • Asking students to think about the steps they need to take encourages them to think more deeply about the process of writing a literary analysis essay.

Homework

Homework
  • Read Chapter 11 of Dragonwings. Use evidence flags to identify three text details, then answer the focus question below in your structured notes, using text evidence:

*   "This chapter ends with the line, 'There was some beauty to life after all, even if it was only the beauty of hope.' In this chapter, what gives Moon Shadow hope and something to believe in?"

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