Analyzing Text Structure: To Kill a Mockingbird (Chapter 2) | EL Education Curriculum

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ELA 2012 G8:M2A:U1:L10

Analyzing Text Structure: To Kill a Mockingbird (Chapter 2)

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Long Term Learning Targets

  • I can analyze how different structures affect meaning and style (RL.8.5)
  • I can objectively summarize literary text (RL.8.2)

Supporting Targets

  • I can analyze the narrative structure of Chapter 2 of To Kill a Mockingbird.
  • I can objectively summarize Chapter 2 of To Kill a Mockingbird

Ongoing Assessment

  • Narrative structure
  • Revised Summary Writing handout

Agenda

AgendaTeaching Notes

1. Opening

 A. Engaging the Reader and Review Learning Targets: Vocabulary (5 minutes)

2. Work Time

 A. Analyzing Narrative Structure (20 minutes)

 B. Analyzing How Structure Contributes to Meaning (15 minutes)

3. Closing and Assessment

 A. Debrief Learning Targets and Preview Homework (5 minutes)

4. Homework

 A. Summarize Chapter 2 based on the Narrative Structure graphic organizer.

  • Summary writing of To Kill a Mockingbird is introduced in this lesson, but it not assessed until the Mid-Unit 2 Assessment. Collect the summaries in the next lesson and give students positive feedback as a formative assessment. Be sure to note any mistakes to address in subsequent lessons, either with the entire class or with individual students as needed. The Narrative Structure graphic organizer is the first step of summary writing; writing the summary paragraph is the second step. Students will continue to work with the graphic organizer, although they will not always write the summary paragraph.
  • The Narrative Structure graphic organizer is used as prewriting for summary paragraphs. For this purpose, students will use an adapted story map. Notice that the right side of the story map leads into the next chapter (although occasionally the smaller narrative arcs will span two chapters instead of only one). Be sure students understand that these narrative arcs appear many times in novels, even as they help develop the overarching plot.
  • The analysis of the structure of Chapter 2 is heavily guided. In later lessons, students will do this sort of analysis more independently.
  • In subsequent lessons, students also will use the Narrative Structure graphic organizer to compare and contrast text structures.
  • The narrative analysis in this lesson scaffolds toward the text structure comparison that students will do in Lesson 14. Eventually, students will compare texts in order to analyze meaning (how each text builds meaning of the theme of the Golden Rule) as well as text structure. The questions in Work Time Part B serve as an initial scaffold to that understanding and skill.
  • The opening of this lesson is a word sort of vocabulary words from the structured notes on Chapter 1 (Parts A and B) and Chapter 2.
  • In advance: Cut up word strips.
  • Review: Chapter 2 of To Kill a Mockingbird; Narrative Structure graphic organizer) for Teacher Reference)
  • Post: Learning targets.

Vocabulary

connotation, denotation, narrative, plot, story arc, exposition, setting, rising action, conflict, climax, resolution, chronological; meditating (23), illicitly (23), sentimentality (24), vexations (27), sojourn (29)

Materials

  • Word strips for word sort (teacher-prepared; see Supporting Materials)
  • Narrative Structure graphic organizer (one per student and one to display)
  • Narrative Structure graphic organizer, Chapter 2 (for Teacher Reference)
  • Document camera
  • To Kill a Mockingbird (book; one per student)
  • Narrative Structure Note-catcher (one per student and one to display)
  • Narrative Structure Note-catcher (for Teacher Reference)
  • Summary Writing homework (one per student)

Opening

OpeningMeeting Students' Needs

A. Engaging the Reader and Review Learning Targets: Vocabulary (5 minutes)

  • Ask students to meet with their Rochester Discussion Appointment partner. Distribute word strips to each pair and ask students to look back at their notes for Chapters 1 and 2 and their text to sort the words into words with positive and negative connotations. Remind students that the connotation of a word is the emotional meaning rather than the denotation, or dictionary definition. For instance, "thin," "skinny," and "scrawny" all have the same denotation but different connotations. "Thin" has a positive connotation, and "skinny" and "scrawny" have negative connotations.
  • After about 3 minutes, refocus whole class and cold call on pairs to name the words they put in each category. Ideally, students will sort them like this:
  • Positive:

*   satisfactory

*   routine contentment

*   meditating

*   sojourn

*   ambled

*   assuaged

  • Negative:

*   malevolent phantom

*   stealthy

*   alien

*   illicitly

*   vexations

  • Reviewing academic vocabulary words benefits all students developing academic language.

Work Time

Work TimeMeeting Students' Needs

A. Analyzing Narrative Structure (20 minutes)

  • Invite students to work with their partner. Distribute the Narrative Structure graphic organizer and display it using the document camera. Ask students to read it over and make an inference what it is used for.
  • Cold call on one or two students to hear their inferences. Listen for them to say something like: "It is a map of the story," or "It has parts of a story on it."
  • After students make their inferences, explain that this is a way to look at the plot of a story. It is also called a story arc. Narrative can be a synonym for story. Point to the elements on the story map and explain that most stories have these elements. The exposition is where the reader gets to know the character and the setting. It gives the reader context for the narrative. After that, narratives have a conflict that is developed in the rising action. The conflict leads to the climax. The climax is the most exciting or most important event in the narrative. After that, the plot usually has a resolution that wraps up any loose ends.
  • In longer narratives, such as To Kill a Mockingbird, there are often many smaller story arcs as well. Most chapters in the novel will have a smaller version of the story arc. Let students know that they are going to analyze the structure of Chapter 2 by looking at the smaller story arc of the chapter.
  • Invite students to read along silently as you read aloud from the beginning of Chapter 2 on page 20 of To Kill a Mockingbird to "Jem was in a haze for days" (21). Ask students to turn and talk to their partner about what information was in that selection. Cold call on pair to share their ideas. Listen for students to say: "Dill goes home," "Scout starts school," and "Scout meets Miss Caroline for the first time." Write these responses in the Exposition box on the displayed graphic organizer and ask students to write them on their own graphic organizers as well. Refer to the Narrative Structure graphic organizer (teacher reference) if needed for the rest of Work Time A. Point out that this meets the criteria of exposition: The setting and a new character are introduced.
  • Continue reading aloud, from "Then she went to the blackboard ..." (22) to "... 'That damn lady says Atticus's been teaching me to read and for him to stop it--'" (23)
  • Again ask students to turn and talk with their partner about what happened in the plot in that excerpt. Cold call on pairs to share. Listen for students to say: "Miss Caroline finds out that Scout can read and tells her to stop reading at home." Write that on the displayed graphic organizer in the first Details box under Rising Action. 
  • Repeat this process with several more excerpts:
  • *   From "'Everybody who brings his lunch put it on top of his desk'" (24) to "Walter shook his head again"(25). Listen for students to say: "Miss Caroline offers Walter money for lunch, but he refuses it.
  • *   From "When Walter shook his head a third time ..." (26) to "'They don't have much, but they get along on it'" (20) and continue with "'You're shamin' him, Miss Caroline. Walter hasn't got a quarter at home to bring you, and you can't use any stovewood'"(28). Listen for students to say: "Scout explains to Miss Caroline why Walter won't accept her money," or "Scout tells Miss Caroline that she's embarrassing Walter."

    *   From "Miss Caroline stood stock still ..." (28) to "... Miss Caroline has whipped me"(28). Listen for students to say: "Miss Caroline punished Scout by hitting her hand with a ruler." This time, write the response in the Climax box. Point out that the conflict of this chapter is between Miss Caroline and Scout. Miss Caroline hitting Scout with a ruler is the most important point in that conflict.

    *   From "When Miss Caroline threatened it with a similar fate ..." (28) to the end of the chapter (29). Listen for students to say: "At lunchtime, Miss Caroline was upset," or "Scout saw that Miss Caroline was upset but didn't really feel sorry for her." Write those ideas in the Resolution box on the graphic organizer. Point out that this part of the chapter doesn't do anything to continue the conflict. Instead, it brings it to an end for now. Point out that the last box is labeled Next Chapter/Incident and remind students that To Kill a Mockingbird will have many more of these smaller arcs in it.

    *   Using the graphic organizer, explain to students that not every detail in the chapter is included. The details about Atticus telling Scout about the Cunninghams are not on the Narrative Structure graphic organizer for Chapter 2, for instance. Explain that authors add details for many purposes. It is not always about moving the plot forward. Sometimes, as with Atticus telling Scout about the Cunninghams, it is about developing characters. 

  • Activating students' prior knowledge helps students master new skills.
  • Graphic organizers and recording forms engage students more actively and provide the necessary scaffolding that is especially critical for learners with lower levels of language proficiency and/or learning.
  • Teaching the structure of a text supports all students, especially ELLs or students who struggle with reading, by making this important element of text explicit. 
  • For some students, this assessment may require more than the 40 minutes allotted. Consider providing students time over multiple days if necessary.

B. Analyzing How Structure Contributes to Meaning (15 minutes)

  • Share with students that now that they have analyzed the structure of Chapter 2, they will analyze how the narrative structure helps make meaning in the chapter.
  • Distribute and display the Narrative Structure Note-catcher. Explain that by completing the Narrative Structure graphic organizer, they have analyzed the structure of Chapter 2. Next, they need to do something with that analysis; they need to do the "So what?" part of the analysis and explain why the structure is important.
  • Point to the questions in the left-hand column. Read the first question aloud:

*   At the end of Chapter 2, Scout's narration reflects on Miss Caroline by saying, "Had her conduct been more friendly toward me, I would have felt sorry for her." Analyze the meaning of the chapter: What happened in the chapter to make Scout say this?

  • Invite students to turn to their partner and answer this question. Let them know that they can use their Narrative Structure graphic organizer to help them answer the question.
  • Cold call on one or two pairs to share their answers. Refer to the Narrative Structure Note-catcher (teacher reference). Clarify student responses and encourage students to revise their work as needed.
  • Read the second question aloud:

*   How is the text structured? What is the job of each structural element of the text?

  • Tell students that this question doesn't focus on what happened in each of those parts of the story arc; it focuses on what the purpose of each of those parts is. Point out the sentence stems that start "The job of the ..." and remind students that they answered similar questions about sentences in the speeches they read in Lesson 2-7.
  • Again invite students to work with their partner to answer the question.
  • Cold call on one or two pairs to share their answers. Refer to the Narrative Structure Note-catcher (teacher reference). Clarify student responses and encourage students to revise their work as needed. Be sure students understand that this question is about the purpose of the structure.
  • Read the third question aloud:

*   How does the structure of the chapter lead readers to understand what Scout means when she says, "Had her conduct been more friendly toward me, I would have felt sorry for her"?

  • Tell students that this question builds on the previous two--students need to think about how the structure helps the author communicate the meaning of the chapter. Invite students to work with their partner.
  • Cold call on one or two pairs to share their answers. Refer to the Narrative Structure Note-catcher (teacher reference). Clarify student responses and encourage students to revise their work as needed. Be sure students understand that this question is about how the structure helps students understand why Scout says, "Had her conduct been more friendly toward me, I would have felt sorry for her."
  • Ask students if they have any questions. Address them as appropriate and let students know that they will continue to practice this skill in later lessons.

Closing & Assessments

Closing

A. Debrief Learning Targets and Preview Homework (5 minutes)

  • Read the first learning target aloud:

*   "I can analyze the narrative structure of Chapter 2 of To Kill a Mockingbird."

  • Ask students to give you a thumbs-up if they think they mastered that learning target or a thumb-down if they still need to work on it.
  • Repeat with the second learning target:

*   "I can objectively summarize Chapter 2 of To Kill a Mockingbird."

  • Notice which students give a thumbs-down and consider supporting them more in following lessons.
  • Preview the homework for students. Distribute the Summary Writing homework. Remind students that they wrote summaries of informational text in Lessons 4 and 6; here they are summarizing literary text. Ask students to write a summary using the narrative structure of Chapter 2: The summary needs to include the exposition, rising action, climax, and resolution of the chapter.

Homework

Homework
  • Summarize Chapter 2 based on the Narrative Structure graphic organizer.

Note: Before Lesson 13, review students' summaries of Chapter 2. If students need additional support to write these summaries well, consider allowing individuals or small groups to practice this skill more. 

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