Key Incidents Reveal Aspects of Character: Survival at Sea | EL Education Curriculum

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ELA 2012 G8:M3A:U2:L1

Key Incidents Reveal Aspects of Character: Survival at Sea

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Long Term Learning Targets

  • I can write narrative texts about real or imagined experiences using relevant details and event sequences that make sense. (W.8.3)
  • I can analyze how specific dialogue or incidents in a plot propel the action, reveal aspects of a character, or provoke a decision. (RL.8.3)

Supporting Targets

  • I can analyze narrative techniques, such as pacing, when used in writing narratives about real events.
  • I can analyze how the experience on the raft reveals aspects of Louie's character. 

Ongoing Assessment

  • Unbroken structured notes, pages 147-168 (from homework)
  • Things Good Writers Do note-catcher

Agenda

AgendaTeaching Notes

1. Opening

A. Engaging the Reader: Things Good Writers Do: Narrative Technique of Pacing (8 minutes)

B. Reviewing Learning Targets (1 minute)

2. Work Time

A. Key Incidents Reveal Aspecta of Character: Survival at Sea (35 minutes)

3. Closing and Assessment

A. Preview Homework (1 minute)

4. Homework

A. Read pages 169-175 and 179-181 in Unbroken Complete the structured notes.

  • In this lesson, students analyze how being lost at sea in the middle of the Pacific Ocean on a small raft with few provisions reveals Louie's character. Louie is a real-life person in a true story, yet the basis for students' analysis of Louie's character is literature standard (RL.8.3). This literature standard best captures how Louie endures the ordeal by dealing with the challenges he and the others face and changing as a result of those challenges.
  • Students study key passages and determine what each selection reveals about Louie's character. Student then engage in a Chalkboard Splash as they sort each selection under the words used to describe Louie on the Understanding Louie: Character Traits anchor chart. The class will add another descriptive word to the chart, and students will sort using sound reasoning. Note that there is more than one right answer for the Chalkboard Splash sort. The goal is for students to use logical thinking to support their reasoning about which character trait a certain quote is illustrating.
  • Note that during this lesson, students discuss the focus questions from both Unit 1, Lessons 12 and Unit 1, Lesson 13 homework.
  • Students dig in and work with rich text excerpts in this lesson. Considering your students' needs, this lesson could take longer than 45 minutes. If necessary, adjust the pacing accordingly and spread over two lessons.
  • Review: Chalkboard Splash (Appendix).
  • Post: Learning targets

Vocabulary

pacing, inference, generous

Materials

  • Materials
  • Unbroken (book; one per student)
  • Document camera, white board, or chalk board
  • Things Good Writers Do anchor chart (begun in Unit 1, Lesson 10; for teacher reference)
  • Things Good Writers Do note-catcher (one per student)
  • Survival at Sea sentence strips (one strip per student pair)
  • Survival at Sea sentence strips (for teacher reference)
  • Tape
  • Understanding Louie: Character Traits anchor chart (begun in Unit 1, Lesson 3)
  • Understanding Louie: Character Traits anchor chart (for teacher reference)
  • Unbroken structured notes, pages 169-181 (one per student)
  • Unbroken supported structured notes, pages 169-181 (optional; only for students who need more support)
  • Unbroken Structured Notes Teacher Guide, pages 169-181 (for teacher reference)

Opening

OpeningMeeting Students' Needs

A. Engaging the Reader: Things Good Writers Do: Narrative Technique of Pacing (8 minutes)

  • Be sure students have their text Unbroken. Invite students to pair up with their Iwo Jima discussion partner to share their answer to the focus question from the Unit 1, Lesson 12 homework:

* "From pages 119-121, the scene Hillenbrand describes is mostly underwater. What descriptive details does Hillenbrand use to vividly create this scene? How does this contribute to the meaning of the story?" 

  • After several minutes, cold call on student pairs to share their descriptive details and record them for the class to see using a document camera, white board, or chalk board. Listen for students to provide details such as: "soundless sensations" of Louie's body being thrust forward; the plane breaking; Louie being trapped in wires; Phil fighting to get out of the plane and swimming free; Louie being pulled down into the depths of the ocean and the pressure on his body and ears, etc.
  • Next, invite students to review all the collected details from the class. Have students Think-Pair-Share to answer the second question again, considering the new details provided by the entire class.
  • After several minutes, cold call student pairs to share how these details contribute to the story's meaning. Listen for students to recognize that all these details contribute to the meaning of the story, since the author slows this rapid event down so the reader can soak in all the details and appreciate everything that is happening. If needed, support students by asking probing questions:

* "Does this scene feel like it is happening in real time, slow motion, or fast motion?"

* "By providing so many details in such a quickly unfolding scene, what does the author force the reader to notice?"

* "Why would the author slow this part of the story down?"

* "Why is this scene important?"

  • Read aloud the first learning target. Explain that pacing is a narrative technique authors use to provide a story with rhythm. When the rhythm changes (getting either faster or slower), the reader notices. When the pacing speeds up, there is usually lots of action; when the pacing slows down, the author wants the reader to pay attention to details.
  • Display the Things Good Writers Do anchor chart (for teacher reference) and have students pull out their Things Good Writers Do note-catcher. Add learning about pacing to the anchor chart as students write this on their note-catchers.
  • Reviewing Learning Targets (1 minute)
  • Read aloud the second learning target. Tell students that today they are going to take a closer look at how survival at sea reveals aspects of Louie's character.
  • Some students may benefit from having access to "hint cards": small slips of paper or index cards that they turn over for hints about how/where to find the answers.
  • Use of protocols (like Think-Pair-Share) allows for total participation of students. It encourages critical thinking, collaboration, and social construction of knowledge. It also helps students to practice their speaking and listening skills.

B. Reviewing Learning Targets (1 minute)

  • Read aloud the second learning target. Tell students that today they are going to take a closer look at how survival at sea reveals aspects of Louie's character.

Work Time

Work TimeMeeting Students' Needs

A. Key Incidents Reveal Aspects of Character: Survival at Sea (35 minutes)

  • Direct students' attention to the focus question from Unit 1, Lesson 13:

* "During Louie's ordeal of being lost at sea, Hillenbrand writes of several occasions where he experiences the presence of God. What are these experiences like, and how does he experience God in each of them?"

  • Have students turn and talk to share their answers.
  • Cold call student pairs, and listen for students to mention that throughout his ordeal, Louie experiences several occasions where he experiences peace and tranquility that is beyond human understanding. For example, on pages 166 and 167, Louie has what it seems can only be called religious experiences--the author uses words like "reverent," "compassion," "beauty." Also, Louie prays out of desperation, and he prays when circumstances are overwhelming and he can't use his own ability to make things better. For example, he prays and tells God that if He would quench their thirst he would dedicate his life to Him (149). On another occasion, he vows that, "if God would save them, he would serve heaven forever" (165). 
  • Explain to students that these experiences allow the reader to learn more about what Louie experiences on the raft, and help the reader understand more about Louie's character. Explain that they will study his character more deeply through book excerpts.
  • Distribute one of the Survival at Sea sentence strips per student pair. Tell students they will first participate in a Think-Pair-Share as they each read a quote from the book written on the strip. Ask them to think about how this quote reveals an aspect of Louie's character by making an inference, and share their thinking with each other. Remind students that an inference is taking the evidence from the text and what they know to answer a question.
  • Direct students to discuss their quote and then write their inference of how this quote reveals an aspect of Louie's character in the space below the quote on the sentence strip. Circulate to listen in and clarify as needed.
  • Invite pairs to tape the sentence strip on the chalkboard for a Chalkboard Splash. Once all the sentence strips have been placed on the board, have students circulate and read all of the quotes and inferences.
  • Place the following headings above the sentence strips on the chalkboard (these are the character traits from the Understanding Louie anchor chart):

-    resilient

-    optimistic

-    generous

-    agency

  • Have student volunteers define each term for review. Add a new character trait to the Understanding Louie: Character Traits anchor chart and sentence strip: "Determined to rebel."
  • Ask students to turn and talk with their partner:

* "What does this phrase mean?" 

  • Cold call student pairs to share their understanding of this phrase. Listen for students to recognize this means Louie was strong-minded and committed to resisting and not conforming. 
  • Call students up to the board, three pairs at a time, to sort the sentence strips by placing one sentence strip under one of the four headings. Explain that some of the quotes may fit under more than one heading, and when a student moves a sentence strip under a heading, they'll share with the class why they are placing it there. Continue until all the sentence strips have been placed under a heading. Invite students to step back and preview the sort; have them move any sentence strips to a different heading if necessary. They must provide a reason for the move.
  • Finally, using a Fist to Five, have students select the strongest example from the sort to place under the character trait on the Understanding Louie: Character Traits anchor chart. Ask students to signal a five for what they believe is the strongest example and a one for the weakest example. Scan the room and add the strongest to the anchor chart. See the Understanding Louie:  Character Traits anchor chart (for teacher reference) for examples of where the quotes might be placed.
  • Mixed-ability pairing of students for regular discussion and close reading exercises provides a collaborative and supportive structure for reading complex texts and close reading. You may consider this pairing as discussion partners are determined ahead of time.
  • During this work time, you may want to pull a small group of students to support in finding evidence from the novel. Some students will need more guided practice before they are ready for independent work.

Closing & Assessments

Closing

A. Preview Homework (1 minute)

  • Distribute the Unbroken structured notes, pages 169-181 as well as the Unbroken supported structured notes, pages 169-181 as needed, keeping a copy of Unbroken Structured Notes Teacher Guide, pages 169-181 (for teacher reference).
  • Preview the focus question:

* "In what ways are Louie and Phil treated differently by each group of Japanese they meet in the early days of their imprisonment? Why might that be? Cite the strongest evidence from the text to support your thinking."

Homework

Homework
  • Read pages 169-175 and 179-181 in Unbroken. Complete the structured notes.

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