Writing a Literary Analysis Essay: Introduction | EL Education Curriculum

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ELA G5:M2:U2:L8

Writing a Literary Analysis Essay: Introduction

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These are the CCS Standards addressed in this lesson:

  • RL.5.1: Quote accurately from a text when explaining what the text says explicitly and when drawing inferences from the text.
  • RF.5.4: Read with sufficient accuracy and fluency to support comprehension.
  • RF.5.4a: Read grade-level text with purpose and understanding.
  • RF.5.4c: Use context to confirm or self-correct word recognition and understanding, rereading as necessary.
  • W.5.2: Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas and information clearly.
  • W.5.2a: Introduce a topic clearly, provide a general observation and focus, and group related information logically; include formatting (e.g., headings), illustrations, and multimedia when useful to aiding comprehension.
  • W.5.9: Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.
  • W.5.9a: Apply grade 5 Reading standards to literature (e.g., "Compare and contrast two or more characters, settings, or events in a story or a drama, drawing on specific details in the text [e.g., how characters interact]").
  • L.5.1: Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.
  • L.5.2: Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.
  • L.5.5: Demonstrate understanding of figurative language, word relationships, and nuances in word meanings.

Daily Learning Targets

  • I can work with a partner to write an introduction to a literary analysis. (W.5.2a)
  • I can read aloud an excerpt of The Most Beautiful Roof in the World with accuracy and fluency. (RF.5.4a, RF.5.4c)

Ongoing Assessment

  • Introduction to literary analysis essay (W.5.2a)
  • Self-assessment on Reading Fluency Checklist (RF.5.4a, RF.5.4c)

Agenda

AgendaTeaching Notes

1. Opening

A. Engaging the Writer: Back-to-Back and Face-to-Face (5 minutes)

B. Reviewing Learning Targets (5 minutes)

2. Work Time

A. Analyzing the Model Essay: Introduction (10 minutes)

B. Planning and Drafting an Introduction (25 minutes)

3. Closing and Assessment

A. Reading Fluency: The Most Beautiful Roof in the World, Page 37 (15 minutes)

4. Homework

A. Reading fluency: Practice reading aloud an excerpt of The Most Beautiful Roof in the World. See the Reading Fluency chart in your Unit 2 homework for some excerpt suggestions.

B. Accountable Research Reading. Select a prompt to respond to in the front of your independent reading journal.

Purpose of lesson and alignment to standards:

  • In this lesson, students begin by analyzing the introduction of the Model Essay: Concrete and Sensory Language in The Great Kapok Tree to generate criteria for the introduction to their own literary analysis essay to answer the question: "What does the use of concrete language and sensory detail help you understand about the rainforest?" Students then work in pairs to plan an introduction and write the introduction to their literary analysis essay as a class (W.5.2a).
  • It is important that students understand the purpose of writing a literary analysis. Ensure students understand that analyzing literature can help them to write stronger narratives, because when analyzing literature they are usually studying the craft and technique of the author, which they can then apply to their own work. Explain also that a literary analysis is a form of academic writing, something that they will continue to do in high school, and in college.
  • Although students plan their literary essay in pairs, each student writes his or her own essay.
  • At the end of the lesson, students practice reading aloud another excerpt from The Most Beautiful Roof in the World in preparation for the reading fluency assessment required as part of the End of Unit 2 Assessment (RF.5.4). Students use the Reading Fluency Checklist to self-assess their performance.
  • The research reading that students complete for homework helps build both their vocabulary and knowledge pertaining to the rainforest, specifically rainforest species and research. By participating in this volume of reading over time, students will develop a wide base of knowledge about the world and the words that help describe and make sense of it. Inviting students to share what they have been learning through independent reading holds them accountable.
  • In this lesson, the habits of character focus are working to become an effective learner and working to become an ethical person. The characteristics students are reminded of specifically are integrity, as they will be sharing their research reading homework, collaboration as they work in pairs on their literary analysis essays, and respect as they provide kind, specific, and helpful reading fluency feedback.

How it builds on previous work:

  • In the previous lesson, students analyzed the structure of the model essay, chose their focus statement, and selected evidence for the two proof paragraphs. In this lesson, they plan and draft the introduction to their literary analysis essay.
  • Continue to use Goals 1-3 Conversation Cues to promote productive and equitable conversation.
  • In Module 1, students were introduced to the Informative Writing Checklist when writing about Esperanza Rising. Students use this checklist when writing their essays in this module, building on to what they already know about informative writing and the Painted EssayO. Recall that this checklist highlights key criteria that the CCSS require of the writing type and is closely aligned with the teacher rubric used to grade student assessments. An empty column is provided on each student checklist for students to add criteria for the specific characteristics required by the writing prompt, and time, directions, and examples for this process are built into the relevant lessons.

Areas in which students may need additional support:

  • Throughout this lesson, students should continue to work with a partner for peer support.
  • Students may require support in writing their introductions. Consider grouping those students together to receive additional support as they write.
  • Consider providing students who require additional support reading aloud with shorter excerpts of text to read in the reading fluency practice in Closing and Assessment A.

Assessment guidance:

  • Review students' introductions to ensure they are ready to continue writing their essays in the next lesson. Look particularly at what students have recorded in the "What does this help us understand?" column of the highlighted quotes on their Explaining Quotes: Concrete and Sensory Language note-catcher. Compare this elaboration against the chosen focus statement to check that students have the elaboration they need about each quote they have chosen to adequately support the claim made. Identify any common issues that could be used as teaching points for the whole group in the next lesson.
  • Consider using the Writing Informal Assessment: Writing and Language Skills Checklist (Grade 5) during students' drafting in Work Time B (see the Tools page).
  • Consider using the Reading: Foundational Skills Informal Assessment: Reading Fluency Checklist during students' fluency practice in Closing and Assessment A (see the Tools page).
  • Collect students' Concrete and Sensory Language I and II homework from Lessons 6-7.

Down the road:

  • In Lesson 9, students will continue to work with their partner to plan and write the first proof paragraph of their literary analysis essay.

In Advance

  • Prepare the Literary Analysis Essay anchor chart.
  • Review the Back-to-Back and Face-to-Face protocol. See Classroom Protocols.
  • Post: Learning targets, Working to Become Ethical People anchor chart, Working to Become Effective Learners anchor chart, Literary Analysis Essay anchor chart, and Fluent Readers Do These Things anchor chart.

Tech and Multimedia

  • Work Time A: For students who benefit from hearing the text read aloud multiple times, consider using a text-to-speech tool like Natural Reader, SpeakIt! for Google Chrome, or the Safari reader. Note that to use a web-based text-to-speech tool like SpeakIt! or Safari reader, you will need to create an online doc, such as a Google Doc, containing the text.
  • Work Time B: Students write their introduction in a word processing document, for example a Google Doc using Speech to Text facilities activated on devices, or using an app or software like Dictation.io.
  • Closing and Assessment A: Record students reading the text aloud using software or apps such as Audacity or GarageBand.

Supporting English Language Learners

Supports guided in part by CA ELD Standards 5.I.A.1, 5.I.A.2, 5.I.A.3, 5.I.B.6a, 5.I.B.7, 5.I.C.10, 5.I.C.11a, 5.I.C.12a, 5.II.A.1, 5.II.A.2b

Important points in the lesson itself

  • The basic design of this lesson supports ELLs with opportunities to discuss and write an introduction with another student, thereby creating an ideal context for language development. Students will also profit from the oral processing in preparation for writing about the concrete language and sensory details evidence and what it helps them understand about the rainforest.
  • ELLs may find it challenging to begin writing the introduction paragraph. Writing an introduction using U.S. conventions may be unfamiliar. Support students by calling special attention to the name and purpose of each piece of the introduction. Example: Highlight and label where the topic is introduced, the title, the author's name, the summary of the text, and the focus statement. Discuss each of the checklist criteria and think aloud an example of each for the introduction. See the lesson for additional suggestions.

Levels of support

For lighter support:

  • Invite a particularly enthusiastic student to model the Opening A activity with you. Practice so that he or she can have the mastery and experience of being an expert in class.

For heavier support:

  • Make sure students understand that a draft is only their first try and that it is important for them to write as much as they can. The draft does not need to be perfect, so they should not focus on spelling errors or other minor errors.
  • Display four bulleted blanks and ask students to help you label them with the structure for the concrete language and sensory details essay, e.g., Introduction with Focus Statement, Proof Paragraph 1, Proof Paragraph 2, Conclusion.
  • In preparation for the End of Unit 2 Assessment, help students identify strategies for reading unfamiliar texts. Invite them to practice these strategies during independent reading and fluency sessions. Strategy examples:
    • Chunk the text into manageable amounts, e.g., sentences or paragraphs.
    • Circle unfamiliar words.
    • Use context or a dictionary to define unfamiliar words.
    • Annotate unfamiliar words with synonyms.
    • Underline important people, places, and things.
    • Read aloud.
    • Read repeatedly.
    • Become familiar with and use the Explaining Quotes: Concrete and Sensory Language note-catcher, which will be provided on the assessment.
    • Silently paraphrase the chunks.
    • Summarize what you read for someone else, perhaps first in your home language.

Universal Design for Learning

  • Multiple Means of Representation: Some students may need additional support accessing the various skills and tools needed during the writing process. Visually capture the analysis of the model essay so that students can reference it as they write. As much as possible, provide varied representations for planning writing. Example: Allow students to orally plan their introduction with their partner before writing.
  • Multiple Means of Action and Expression: To enable students to synthesize a large amount of information as they write, allow differentiated methods for writing their introduction paragraph. (Example: Invite students to use colored pencils to "paint" the different sentences as part of the checklist criteria. This will visually reinforce the key components of the introductory paragraph and also promote self-monitoring for students.)
  • Multiple Means of Engagement: During a writing activity, provide multiple formats of lined paper. (Examples: Skipping lines by giving lined paper with every other line highlighted or starred. Provide paper that has an empty box for sketching an idea before writing it.) Offer students a choice of format that best suits their learning needs. This will not only help them to accomplish the writing task but also help them take ownership of their own learning. Help students manage their frustration during writing by offering a list of options they can take if they get frustrated or don't know what to do next. This list could include options such as: reference the anchor chart, ask an elbow partner, look at my note-catcher, etc.

Vocabulary

Key: Lesson-Specific Vocabulary (L); Text-Specific Vocabulary (T); Vocabulary Used in Writing (W)

  • concrete language, sensory detail (W)

Materials

  • Concrete and Sensory Language homework (from Lesson 6; one per student)
  • Independent reading text (one per student)
  • Independent reading journal (from Module 1; one per student)
  • Vocabulary log (from Module 1; one per student)
  • Working to Become Ethical People anchor chart (begun in Module 1)
  • Working to Become Effective Learners anchor chart (begun in Module 1)
  • Model Essay: Concrete and Sensory Language in The Great Kapok Tree (from Lesson 7; one per student and one to display)
  • Literary Analysis Essay anchor chart (new; co-created with students during Work Time A; see supporting materials)
  • Literary Analysis Essay anchor chart (example, for teacher reference)
  • Informative Writing Checklist (one per student)
  • Informative Writing Planning graphic organizer (from Lesson 7; one per student and one to display)
  • Informative Writing Planning graphic organizer (from Lesson 7; example, for teacher reference)
  • Informative Writing Checklist (example, for teacher reference)
  • Explaining Quotes: Concrete and Sensory Language note-catcher (from Lesson 6; one per student)
  • Lined paper (one piece per student)
  • Fluent Readers Do These Things anchor chart (begun in Module 1)
  • Reading Fluency Checklist (one per student)
  • The Most Beautiful Roof in the World (one per student)

Assessment

Each unit in the 3-5 Language Arts Curriculum has two standards-based assessments built in, one mid-unit assessment and one end of unit assessment. The module concludes with a performance task at the end of Unit 3 to synthesize their understanding of what they accomplished through supported, standards-based writing.

Opening

OpeningMeeting Students' Needs

A. Engaging the Writer: Back-to-Back and Face-to-Face (5 minutes)

  • Invite students to retrieve their Concrete and Sensory Language homework, independent reading text, independent reading journal, and vocabulary log.
  • Remind students that for homework they were required to find concrete and sensory language in their independent reading text and to analyze what it helps the reader to understand.
  • Direct students' attention to the Working to Become Ethical People anchor chart and focus them specifically of the integrity criteria. Remind students that even though you don't check every day, you want them to practice integrity, which means doing the right thing even when it's difficult. In the context of research reading homework, this means trying to do it each day, even when it is tough to do so, and if it isn't possible, being honest in the dates and pages recorded in their journals.
  • Tell students they are going to share their findings using the Back-to-Back and Face-to-Face protocol. Remind them that they used this protocol in Lesson 3 and review as necessary. See the Classroom Protocols document for the full version of the protocol.
  • Guide students through the Back-to-Back and Face-to-Face protocol using the following questions:

"What is one example of concrete and/or sensory language you have found?"

"What does it help the reader to understand?"

  • Ask students to return to their seats.
  • Explain that during this lesson, you will circulate to check the number of prompts they have completed in their independent reading journals. Remind students that the more time they spend reading their independent research reading books and responding to the prompts, the more their vocabulary and knowledge will grow and the more confident they will feel reading and writing about this topic.
  • For ELLs and students who may need additional support with social skills: Think aloud and model the Back-to-Back and Face-to-Face protocol, consulting the journal and log, responding to the questions, and listening actively. Select a particularly enthusiastic or proficient ELL to model with you. (MMR)
  • For ELLs and students who may need additional support with writing: Check in with students who have responded to only a few prompts, making sure they understood the directions for the prompts. Strategize how they might respond to a greater volume, (e.g., by sketching or recording responses instead of only writing). Invite them to respond initially in their home language and then, in English, to tell you or a classmate the gist of what they wrote. (MMAE)
  • Create an accepting and supportive classroom environment by reminding students that they may complete their prompts in different ways (e.g., some students use different supports), but what matters is that everyone is learning and growing. (MME)

B. Reviewing Learning Targets (5 minutes)

  • Direct students' attention to the posted learning targets and read them aloud as students follow along, reading silently in their heads:
    • "I can work with a partner to write an introduction to a literary analysis."
    • "I can read aloud an excerpt of The Most Beautiful Roof in the World with accuracy and fluency."
  • Remind students that the second learning target should be familiar because it was used in the previous lesson.
  • Explain that in this lesson, students will dig deeper into an analysis of the model essay, focusing on the introduction in order to write an introduction for their own literary analysis essay that will answer the question: "What does the author's use of sensory detail and point of view help you understand about the rainforest?"
  • Explain that analyzing literature can help them to write stronger narratives, because when analyzing literature they are usually studying the craft and technique of the author, which they can then apply to their own work. Explain that a literary analysis is a form of academic writing, something that they will continue to do in high school, and in college.
  • Activate students' prior knowledge by connecting this learning target to the previous lesson, in which they looked at the structure of an author's writing. Remind them that how authors structure their writing is related to their purpose. (MMR)
  • For ELLs and students who may need additional support with new vocabulary: Ask:

"What is the difference between the words analyze and analysis?" (Analyze is a verb or an action word that means examine or think about something in detail so that you can explain it well. Analysis is a noun or a thing. It is the word for a detailed examination and explanation of something.) (MMR)

"What do we call a person who analyzes as a job?" (an analyst)

"How do we describe someone whose mind is always analyzing things?" (analytical)

  • Say and spell all four forms aloud with students. (analyze, analysis, analyst, analytical)

Work Time

Work TimeMeeting Students' Needs

A. Analyzing the Model Essay: Introduction (10 minutes)

  • Invite students to move to sit with their writing partner.
  • Direct students' attention to the posted Working to Become Effective Learners anchor chart and remind them specifically of the collaboration criteria. Remind students that because they will be working together in pairs, they need to be conscious of working effectively with others.
  • Invite students to retrieve their Model Essay: Concrete and Sensory Language in The Great Kapok Tree. Explain that they will focus on the introduction, which they underlined in red in Lesson 7.
  • Reread the model essay introduction aloud, inviting students to chorally read with you.
  • Using a total participation technique, invite responses from the group:

"What information does the introduction contain? Why?" (the title of the book, the author, and a brief description of what the book is about; so that the reader can find the book if he/she wishes to read it and to give the context)

  • As students share out, capture their responses on the Literary Analysis Essay anchor chart. Refer to the Literary Analysis Essay anchor chart (example, for teacher reference) to ensure that the necessary criteria are recorded.
  • If productive, cue students to think about their thinking:

"How does our discussion and analysis add to your understanding of how to write an introduction for an essay? I'll give you time to think and discuss with a partner." (Responses will vary.)

  • For ELLs and students who may need additional support with writing: Repeat the question: "What information does the introduction contain? Why?" Rephrase the question: "What pieces should you write into the introduction? Why?" Allow additional think time for students to process the language needed to respond to the question. Document the responses on chart paper for reference during writing time. (MMR)
  • For ELLs and students who may need additional support with writing/memory: Review and rephrase the definition of focus statement. Say:

"A focus statement is the main idea of our essay. It is the idea the author wants us to remember most from the essay. It is the most important thing that we want to teach our readers." (MMR)

  • If students need additional modeling, do a think-aloud to model planning and writing an introduction using the model essay as a support. (MMR)

B. Planning and Drafting an Introduction (25 minutes)

  • Display and invite students to retrieve their Informative Writing Planning graphic organizers. Focus students on the Introduction Paragraph box and select a volunteer to read the questions aloud.
  • As a whole group, discuss each question and complete this part of the graphic organizer. Leave a space for the focus statement, as this will differ among students. Refer to the Informative Writing Planning graphic organizer (example, for teacher reference) as a guide, but rely on students to generate the writing as much as possible.
  • Distribute the Informative Writing Checklist and briefly review the criteria with students. Remind them that they have seen this checklist before.
  • Using a total participation technique, invite responses from the group:

"Which of the criteria do you think we are working on today when writing the introduction?"

  • Invite students to mark the following on their checklist to help them remember as they write:
    • W.5.2a
    • W.5.2d/L.5.6
    • W.5.4
    • L.5.1/L.5.3a
    • L.5.2
  • Focus students on the rows labeled W.5.2d/L.5.6 about precise vocabulary and emphasize that this specific vocabulary (concrete language and sensory detail) should be referred to throughout the essay.
  • Invite students to refer to the criteria on the Literary Analysis Essay anchor chart to determine if there are criteria specific to this piece of writing that they would like to add to the third column of their Informative Writing Checklist.
  • Invite students to add specific criteria to their checklist.
  • Circulate to support students. Refer to the Informative Writing Checklist (example, for teacher reference) as necessary.
  • Refocus students on their Informative Writing Planning graphic organizer and invite them to reread their focus statement. Invite students to retrieve their Explaining Quotes: Concrete and Sensory Language note-catcher and review the evidence they selected to include in their essays.
  • Distribute lined paper. Remind students to leave a line between each line of writing for editing later.
  • Invite students to draft their introductions. Remind them that even though they are working with a partner to write their essays, all students must complete their own introduction.
  • As students work, circulate to review student independent reading logs.
  • Tell students they will continue writing their essays in the next lesson.
  • Invite students to record 'Y' for 'Yes' and the date in the final column of their Informative Writing Checklist if they feel the criteria marked on their checklists have been achieved in their writing in this lesson.
  • For ELLs and students who may need additional support with writing: Give students time to orally negotiate with their partner what they will write before they begin writing. Remind them of any negotiation phrases they learned in previous lessons or help them identify some phrases. (MMR)
  • For ELLs and students who may need additional support with writing: Encourage students to use colored markers or pencils to "paint" the introduction using the Painted Essay structure from Lesson 7. If they struggle to identify the structure, ask them how they might make each element clearer--for example, by using one of the phrases from the Explaining Quotes anchor chart. (MMAE)
  • For ELLs and students who may need additional support with memory: Invite students to turn to an elbow partner and summarize The Most Beautiful Roof in the World in 1 minute or less. Have them share out and give them feedback on their language use and summarizing skill. Then invite them to turn to their partner and summarize once again, this time in 30 seconds or less. Repeat the feedback process. (MMR)
  • For ELLs and students who may need additional support with memory: Ask students for explicit feedback:

"Why do authors write a focus statement?" (MMR)

  • To assist students who need additional support with spatial organization, provide lined paper with every other line highlighted or starred. (MMR, MME)

Closing & Assessments

ClosingMeeting Students' Needs

A. Reading Fluency: The Most Beautiful Roof in the World, Page 37 (15 minutes)

  • Direct students' attention to the posted Fluent Readers Do These Things anchor chart. Remind them that they reviewed this anchor chart in Lesson 7.
  • Distribute the Reading Fluency Checklist and select volunteers to read the criteria on the checklist aloud. After each criterion is read, invite students to record symbols in the Symbol column to help them remember what it is about.
  • Remind students that at the end of this unit, they will each read aloud a new excerpt of The Most Beautiful Roof in the World to assess their reading fluency with a new text.
  • Invite students to retrieve their copies of The Most Beautiful Roof in the World and to turn to page 37.
  • Explain that they are going to read from "That night, after a supper of more beans and rice ..." to "... is a beautiful spiderweb."
  • Read this excerpt aloud for students.
  • Using a total participation technique, invite responses from the group:

"What is the gist of this excerpt? What is it mostly about?" (The boys take a walk in the moonlight through the rainforest with their mom.)

  • Tell students they will have 3 minutes to practice reading this same excerpt to themselves, following the criteria on the Fluent Readers Do These Things anchor chart.
  • After 3 minutes, post and review the following directions:
  1. Find a partner.
  2. Determine who will be partner A and who will be partner B.
  3. Partner A reads the excerpt from page 28 aloud to partner B.
  4. Partner B provides kind, specific, and helpful feedback based on the criteria listed on the Fluent Readers Do These Things anchor chart. (Example: "Your pace was really good, but your volume was a little quiet. I struggled to hear you at times.")
  5. Switch roles and repeat Steps 3-4.
  • Focus students on the Working to Become Effective Learners anchor chart and remind them specifically of the respect criterion. Remind students that as they provide each other with feedback, they need to ensure that they appreciate the abilities, qualities, and achievements of others and treat others with care.
  • Invite students to begin reading aloud and providing feedback.
  • Tell students to mark the date in the column for each criterion that describes their progress based on their own reading and their peer feedback. Model as necessary. Example: They may be in the Beginning column for pacing but in the Proficient column for volume.
  • Invite students to read the excerpt aloud to their partner in a voice like a chipmunk.
  • Invite them to practice it with their normal voice again, working on the challenges they or their partner identified.
  • Focus students on the learning targets. Read each one aloud, pausing after each to use a checking for understanding protocol for students to reflect on their comfort level with or show how close they are to meeting each target. Make note of students who may need additional support with each of the learning targets moving forward.
  • Repeat, inviting students to self-assess against how well they collaborated, and showed integrity and respect in this lesson.
  • As you read the excerpt from page 37, draw arcs under phrases to signal appropriate pauses in the text. Some students may benefit from a copy with the arcs already drawn under the text. (MMR)
  • For ELLs and students who may need additional support with fluency: Model reading the beginning of the excerpt and have them repeat it back to you or chorally read with you. (MMR)
  • For ELLs and students who may need additional support with reading: Give students the choice to focus on only one or two of the criteria on the Fluent Readers Do These Things anchor chart. (MMAE)
  • Reading fluency is best practiced on text that is at or below the independent reading level. For students whose independent reading levels are below this excerpt, allow them to use an excerpt from their choice reading text to practice fluency. (MMAE)

Homework

HomeworkMeeting Students' Needs

A. Reading fluency: Practice reading aloud an excerpt of The Most Beautiful Roof in the World. See the Reading Fluency chart in your Unit 2 homework for some excerpt suggestions.

B. Accountable Research Reading. Select a prompt to respond to in the front of your independent reading journal.

  • For ELLs: Read aloud and discuss the gist of the excerpt students choose. Encourage developing readers to focus more on the meaning of the fluency passage rather than on the pace at which they read or the meaning of every unfamiliar word.
  • For students whose independent reading levels are below the excerpt selection, allow them to practice their fluency in their independent reading text. (MMAE)

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