Analyzing Evidence: Writing about Theme | EL Education Curriculum

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ELA 2012 G8:M3A:U2:L14

Analyzing Evidence: Writing about Theme

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Long Term Learning Targets

  • I can use evidence from informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research. (W.8.9)
  • I can analyze the development of a theme or a central idea throughout the text (including its relationship to supporting ideas). (RI.8.2)

Supporting Targets

  • I can explain the end of unit assessment essay prompt.
  • I can explain ways that people tried to make American POWs and Japanese-American internees "invisible" during WWII.
  • I can explain ways that POWs and Japanese-American internees resisted "invisibility" during WWII

Ongoing Assessment

  • Unbroken structured notes, pages 261-329 (from homework)
  • Gathering Textual Evidence note-catcher

Agenda

AgendaTeaching Notes

1. Opening

A. Engaging the Writer: Discussing the Focus Question (5 minutes)

B. Reviewing Learning Targets (3 minutes)

2. Work Time

A. Understanding Invisibility (20 minutes)

B. Understanding Resistance (15 minutes)

3. Closing and Assessment

A. Preview Homework (2 minutes)

4. Homework

A. Look back at your Gathering Textual Evidence note-catcher. Choose the six strongest pieces of evidence to use in your essay (three about the POWs and three about the Japanese-American internees). Place a star in the "Used in your writing?" column next to these six pieces of evidence.

  • In this lesson, students will continue to address the question of how war affects individuals and societies by analyzing the theme concept of "invisibility" in Unbroken and "The Life of Mine Okubo."
  • This work builds toward the End of Unit 2 Assessment by helping students fully understand the essay prompt before they begin writing.
  • In advance:

-    Create a blank Being Made Invisible anchor chart (see supporting materials; create chart with all boxes and headings but no words filled in yet).

-    Cut Invisibility Synonyms strips apart (or rewrite on sticky notes).

  • Post: Learning targets; blank Being Made Invisible anchor chart.

Vocabulary

thematic concept, invisibility, resistance

Materials

  • Gathering Textual Evidence note-catcher (from Lesson 3)
  • Being Made Invisible anchor chart (new; co-created with students during Work Time A; one to  display and one for teacher reference)
  • Sticky notes (one per student; for anchor chart)
  • Invisibility Synonyms strips (one set per class; cut apart)
  • Tape
  • Gathering Textual Evidence note-catcher (for teacher reference)

Opening

Opening

A. Engaging the Writer: Discussing the Focus Question (5 minutes)

  • Invite students to sit with their Iwo Jima discussion partners. Give students 3 minutes to discuss the focus question from last night's structured notes:

* "Why did the men doubt that the war was over?"

  • After 3 minutes, cold call several pairs to share their thinking about the focus question. Listen for students to understand that Louie and the other POWs did not trust the Japanese guards because they previously had been tricked and lied to, their life in the camp did not change right away, or they did not believe the news until they saw an American plane blinking the message to them in code.
  • Have students return to their own seats.

B. Reviewing Learning Targets (3 minutes)

  • Read today's learning targets aloud as students read along silently:

* "I can explain the end of unit assessment essay prompt."

* "I can explain ways that people tried to make American POWs and Japanese-American internees 'invisible' during WWII."

* "I can explain ways that POWs and Japanese-American internees resisted 'invisibility' during WWII."

  • Ask students to turn and talk about when they have worked with these sorts of targets before. Listen for students to recognize that in each module, they have spent time understanding the essay prompt before they begin writing. Emphasize how useful it is, as a writer, to be very clear on your purpose before you begin writing in earnest.
  • Explain that students will sort through all of the textual evidence they've gathered in the past several weeks in order to write their informational essays. Before they can do that, however, they must have a complete understanding of the essay prompt.
  • Ask students to take out their Gathering Textual Evidence note-catcher, and have a volunteer read the prompt at the top of the page aloud:

* "During World War II, what were the efforts to make both Japanese-American internees and American POWs in Japan 'invisible,' and how did each group resist?"

  • Tell students this question can be divided into two smaller questions. Ask for another volunteer to name those two smaller questions. Listen for: "What were the efforts to make both Japanese-American internees and American POWs in Japan 'invisible'?" and "How did each group resist?"
  • Tell students that they will use the first half of class exploring the thematic concept of "invisibility" and the second half exploring resistance.

Work Time

Work TimeMeeting Students' Needs

A. Understanding Invisibility (20 minutes)

  • Cold call a student to name two kinds of invisibility discussed in recent classes. Listen for: "Isolation and dehumanization."
  • Draw students' attention to the Being Made Invisible anchor chart. Explain that the class will fill in this chart together to prepare to write the essay.
  • Write "Dehumanization" and "Isolation" as headings in the top two boxes. Remind students that one of the best ways to understand a word is by naming examples of it (as they did when they used the Frayer model to define "propaganda" yesterday). Write "Examples" in the right-hand box underneath each heading. Ask students to just think about the following question:

* "What are some examples of ways that people tried to make the POWs and Japanese-American internees invisible during World War II?"

  • Distribute one of the sticky notes to each student. Ask students to write down one example of a way people tried to make captives invisible on their sticky note.
  • Then ask students to place their sticky note in the correct column on the anchor chart (under "isolation" or "dehumanization").
  • Once students have stuck their examples to the anchor chart, ask for a few volunteers to read them aloud. After each example, poll the class; ask for a thumbs-up if students agree that this is an example of a way to make someone invisible. Then, ask for a thumbs-up if students agree that this example is listed in the correct column (under either Isolation or Dehumanization). If students seem divided or confused, ask for a volunteer to explain why this is an example of a way to make someone invisible, and/or explain where this example should go on the anchor chart.
  • Ask students why using the same words, like "dehumanization" or "isolation," over and over in their essays might not be a good idea. Listen for students to say that the essay will be repetitive or boring.
  • Explain that good writers, like Laura Hillenbrand, use synonyms to avoid repetition and help their readers understand complicated topics. In the left-hand box underneath each heading, write "Synonyms and Related Phrases." 
  • Distribute Invisibility Synonyms strips to students. Ask them to choose which column each strip belongs in and attach it to the anchor chart with tape.
  • After students have attached their synonyms to the anchor chart, use the same thumbs-up polling method to check for understanding.
  • Ask students to turn and talk with someone sitting next to them:

* "How might this anchor chart be useful as you begin to write your essays?"  

  • After a moment, cold call several pairs to share out. Listen for students to say that the examples will be helpful to use as evidence in their essays, and the synonyms will help them avoid repetition.
  • Depending on the makeup of your class, consider providing students with pre-written examples instead. Give each student one or two examples on sentence strips or sticky notes and ask them to categorize these examples into either the Isolation or Dehumanization column. In this case, change the class review. After each thumbs-up poll, have a student explain why this example connects to either "dehumanization" or "isolation." 

B. Understanding Resistance (15 minutes)

  • Tell students that now that they have reviewed the first half of the essay prompt, they will dig deeper into the second half: "How did each group resist?"
  • As a reminder, call on a volunteer to explain what "resistance" is. Listen for him or her to say that resistance means fighting back, refusing to do something, or pushing in the opposite direction.
  • Review by asking students to turn and talk:

* "What might 'resisting invisibility' look like?"

  • After a moment, cold call several pairs to share out. Listen for students to say that resisting invisibility might mean refusing to lose one's dignity/identity or staying connected with other people.
  • Ask:

* "How does Louie resist efforts to make him invisible?"

  • Tell students to turn and talk about this question.
  • After a few moments, call on volunteers to name ways that Louie resists invisibility. Listen for them to say that Louie refuses to record the propaganda radio message (dehumanization/isolation), fights back against the Bird's violence (dehumanization), and helps other POWs (isolation/dehumanization).
  • Focus students on the Gathering Textual Evidence note-catcher, specifically the box at the bottom of the front page. Remind them that it contains the same question they just answered.
  • Give students the remaining time to jot down notes inside this box. Remind them to be as specific as possible, since the question asks for evidence from the text. If there is time, students should also work on this box on the back of the paper ("How does Mine resist efforts to make her invisible?").
  • Consider providing more structure for students who may struggle to complete this task independently; give these students a list of Louie's actions to choose from as they think about ways that he resisted.

Closing & Assessments

Closing

A. Preview Homework (2 minutes)

  • Tell students they will begin planning their essays tomorrow, so it will be important that they have chosen the strongest evidence to include.
  • Preview tonight's homework.

Homework

Homework
  • Look back at your Gathering Textual Evidence note-catcher. Choose the six strongest pieces of evidence to use in your essay (three about the POWs and three about the Japanese-American internees). Place a star in the "Used in your writing?" column next to these six pieces of evidence.

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