Analyzing Experiences: Carlotta Walls | EL Education Curriculum

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ELA 2012 G8:M3B:U1:L2

Analyzing Experiences: Carlotta Walls

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Long Term Learning Targets

  • I can cite text-based evidence that provides the strongest support for an analysis of informational text. (RI.8.1)
  • 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 cite evidence that supports my analysis of A Mighty Long Way.
  • I can analyze how incidents in A Mighty Long Way provoke Carlotta to make certain decisions.

Ongoing Assessment

  • Structured notes, Chapter 1, pages 3–26 (from homework)

Agenda

AgendaTeaching Notes

1.  Opening

     A.  Engaging the Reader: Structured Notes and Family Tree Activity (5 minutes)

     B.  Reviewing Learning Targets (2 minutes)

2.  Work Time

     A.  New Discussion Appointments (6 minutes)

     B.  Context of the Integration of Schools: The End of the Civil War (15 minutes)

    C.  Inferring Character: Chalkboard Splash (12 minutes)

3.  Closing and Assessment

     A.  Turn and Talk and Previewing Homework (5 minutes)

4.  Homework

     A.  Read Chapter 2 and complete the structured notes.

  • This lesson, like every lesson in this unit, deals with sensitive issues of race. See Lesson 1 Teaching Notes. Throughout the unit, it will be important to continually assess the needs of the class and keep lines of communication open for questions, vocabulary, and feelings that come up.
  • This lesson begins with a visual representation of Carlotta’s family tree from the beginning of Chapter 1 of A Mighty Long Way. The relationships are quite confusing, and students may need help keeping track of Carlotta’s family members, who are integral to her story.
  • Students set up Discussion Appointments with five peers; these appointments will be used for peer conversation throughout this module. This routine builds on students’ work in Module 2, gradually encouraging them to work with more and more of their classmates. These discussion structures support students’ mastery of SL.8.1.
  • This lesson provides some necessary but brief context for the learning in this module. Consider collaborating with a social studies teacher to help students build more in-depth background knowledge on the civil rights era and the Jim Crow era that preceded it.
  • In Work Time B, you show a video: Life in the South After the Civil War.
  • Before viewing the video, you may need to explain to students that from the mid-1800s to the mid-1900s, the Republican Party was pro-Union (Lincoln’s party) and the Southern states were mainly Democratic and opposed the Republicans. The terms do not mean the same thing today as they did at that time.
  • In advance:

–   Review Chalkboard Splash protocol and Discussion Appointments (see Appendix).

–   Prepare blank strips of paper as sentence strips (1 per student).

–   Prepare appropriate technology to show the video.

-   Post: Learning targets.

Vocabulary

family tree, paternal, maternal, memoir, Redeemer, disenfranchised, tenant farmer, sharecropper, carpetbagger, scalawag

Materials

  • Carlotta’s Paternal Family Tree graphic organizer (one per student)
  • Carlotta’s Maternal Family Tree graphic organizer (one per student)
  • Discussion Appointments: Carlotta’s travels (one per student)
  • Timer
  • “Life in the South after the Civil War” focus question and vocabulary (one per student)
  • “Life in the South after the Civil War” focus question and vocabulary (answers, for teacher reference)
  • A Mighty Long Way (book; distributed in Lesson 1; one per student)
  • Blank sentence strips (one per student)
  • A Mighty Long Way Structured Notes Teacher’s Guide, Chapter 1, pages 3–26 (from Lesson 1)
  • A Mighty Long Way structured notes, Chapter 2, pages 27–43 (one per student)
  • A Mighty Long Way supported structured notes, Chapter 2, pages 27–43 (optional; for students needing extra support)
  • A Mighty Long Way Structured Notes Teacher’s Guide, Chapter 2, pages 27–43 (for teacher reference)

Opening

OpeningMeeting Students' Needs

A. Engaging the Reader: Structured Notes and Family Tree Activity (5 minutes)

  • Tell students that Carlotta’s family is a true source of strength for her but all the connections between people can be very confusing. Ask students:

*   “What is a family tree?”

*   “How is a family tree usually represented?”

  • Listen for answers indicating that a family tree shows who is married and what children they have. It is usually drawn from the oldest generation at the top of the tree to the youngest on the bottom. Lines connect people in the representation.
  • Hand out Carlotta’s Paternal Family Tree graphic organizer and Carlotta’s Maternal Family Tree graphic organizer.
  • Share with students that they can use knowledge of Latin roots of words to decipher the meaning of paternal and maternal, informal Latin references to father and mother respectively. Be sure students understand that “paternal” is the father’s side of the family and “maternal” is the mother’s side of the family.

B. Reviewing Learning Targets (2 minutes)

  • Direct students’ attention to the posted learning targets. Read the two learning targets aloud to the class:

*   “I can cite evidence that supports my analysis of A Mighty Long Way.”

*   “I can analyze how incidents in A Mighty Long Way provoke Carlotta to make certain decisions.”

  • Remind students that this is a work of literary nonfiction. It is a memoir that reads like a story. Carlotta is a real person, and these events really happened to her. People write memoirs or biographies to tell the story of their personal experiences.
  • Posting learning targets for students allows them 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. New Discussion Appointments (6 minutes)

  • Distribute the Discussion Appointments: Carlotta’s travels handout. Explain that the cities listed are those Carlotta traveled to during her childhood/young adulthood and in which she felt the most freedom.
  • Tell students they will continue using the Discussion Appointment protocol in Module 3 and these new Discussion Appointments will give them an opportunity to work with some new partners. Being able to talk to a lot of classmates will give them more ideas for discussing and writing about the texts during this module. Reinforce that discussion is one strong way to deepen students’ understanding of a text.
  • Give the following directions for making Discussion Appointments:
  1. You will quietly move around the room to sign up for five appointments with five different partners.
  2. For each location, you may have only one appointment.
  3. If someone asks you for an appointment and that location is available, you need to accept the appointment.
  4. In the blank next to each location, write the name of your appointment partner.
  5. Once you have made all five appointments, return to your seat.
  • Give students 4 minutes to make their Discussion Appointments. Consider setting a timer to help them stay focused and do this task quickly. Circulate to support or clarify as needed.
  • About halfway through this sign-up process, check with students to see who needs appointments in various locations. You can do this by asking: “Raise your hand if you need an appointment in Chicago.” As students raise their hands, match them up.
  • Once they have their sheets filled out, ask students to return to their seats. Tell them that they will work with these Discussion Appointment partners regularly.
  • Remind students that if their partner is absent on a given day or they do not have a partner for a particular location, they should check in with you and you will tell them whom to meet with.
  • Discussion Appointments are a way for students to work with different classmates, leading to mixed-ability groupings. Mixed-ability groupings of students for regular discussion and close reading exercises will provide a collaborative and supportive structure for close reading of complex texts.

B. Context of the Integration of Schools: The End of the Civil War (15 minutes)

  • Tell students that they are going to watch a video that talks about the aftermath of the Civil War and the events during the Reconstruction Period, including the Fourteenth Amendment and the reaction to equal citizenship status for African Americans.
  • Distribute “Life in the South after the Civil War” focus question and vocabulary.
  • Inform students that they will be answering the question and defining some vocabulary after viewing the video.
  • Read the focus question aloud:

*   “After the Confederacy was defeated in the Civil War, white political leaders who called themselves Redeemers tried to go back to the old social order that had existed during slavery. What were some ways they did this?”

  • Explain to students that the term Redeemer held two meanings for white Southerners. The political leaders who were Redeemers used the word to reflect the redemption of the old social older between blacks and whites. To be redeemed also has a religious meaning—that God has saved someone from sin.
  • Show the video: Life in the South After the Civil War
  • Periodically pause the video to answer any questions students might have. Define the word disenfranchised for students by telling them that it means people who are not allowed to have any power in a society.
  • After the video, allow students a few minutes to work with their New York City discussion partners to review their answers to the focus question.
  • Cold call students to share out answers. Use “Life in the South after the Civil War” focus question and vocabulary (answers, for teacher reference) for guidance.

C. Inferring Character: Chalkboard Splash (12 minutes)

  • Ask students to get out their text, A Mighty Long Way. Tell students that you will read pages 16–17 aloud. They should follow along silently as you do this and look for details that lead Carlotta to change the way she views her life and her place in the world.
  • In a fluent manner, read pages 16–17 of A Mighty Long Way aloud as students read along silently in their heads.
  • Then, hand out a blank sentence strip to each student. While you are doing this, ask students to retrieve A Mighty Long Way structured notes, Chapter 1, pages 3–26 from their homework.
  • On the sentence strip, invite students to write down a detail from the reading that indicates how Carlotta might change due to the events in her life. Instruct students to use their structured notes for additional support if needed. Then, ask students to place their sentence strip on the wall for a Chalkboard Splash. Once everyone has posted their sentence strip, invite students to review all the “splashes” of detail provided by their classmates.
  • Look for details related to the following basic points:

–   Carlotta’s family life helping her to feel confident and loved,

–   The incident on the bus and her family’s attitude that they shouldn’t “stoop” to the level of responding to ignorance, and

–   Her visit to New York City and how it opened her eyes to how black people should be treated.

  • 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 for students to follow along silently as you read the text aloud.

Closing & Assessments

Closing

A. Turn and Talk and Previewing Homework (5 minutes)

  • Ask students to take A Mighty Long Way and A Mighty Long Way structured notes, Chapter 1, pages 3–26 and go sit with their New York City Discussion Appointments.
  • Invite students to refer their structure notes, as well as the sentence strips (that have been “splashed” on the board) and to turn and talk with their partner:

*   “Based on your reading of Chapter 1, how would you describe how Carlotta was taught by her family to be a part of her segregated reality in the South? What evidence can you find in the text to support your ideas?”

  • As students turn and talk with their partner, circulate and monitor. Listen for details such as: “She had to try not to be seen,” “She had to take care to be seen as someone who was not going to talk back to whites,” “She learned to stay in her own black community as much as possible,” and “She learned that when she was insulted, to ignore it.”
  • Refocus the whole class. Cold call on one or two students to share responses.
  • Then ask students to discuss the second focus question from their homework with their partner:

*   “Although she was only eight years old when she visited New York City, from what you have read how did her three-month-long visit affect Carlotta? Use evidence from the text to support your ideas.”

  • As students turn and talk with their partners, circulate and monitor. See A Mighty Long Way Structured Notes Teacher’s Guide, Chapter 1, pages 3–26 for examples of answers.
  • Refocus the whole class. Cold call on two or three students to share responses.
  • Distribute the A Mighty Long Way structured notes, Chapter 2, pages 27–43. Reinforce homework routines as needed.

Homework

HomeworkMeeting Students' Needs
  • Read Chapter 2 and complete the structured notes.
  • Provide struggling learners with the supported structured notes for additional scaffolding as they read the memoir.

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