PARCC Prep: Literary Analysis Writing DEMO LESSON

LITERACY AND THE COMMON COREAs I’ve noted in posts about the PARCC Narrative Writing Task Lesson Cycle, the PARCC Literary Analysis Lesson Task Cycle, and Research Simulation Task Lesson Cycle, it’s really important to provide and explain models of the work we expect. That includes steps such as turning the prompt into a question, taking effective notes, and writing from those notes.

Below is a quick example of what I mean, a handout from a demo lesson I conducted the other day for 7th-graders (Note: The original task with passages can be found HERE). This handout can be downloaded for free HERE: 7th-grade-lit-analysis-parcc-2015-modeling

PARCC 7th Grade Literary Analysis Task (2015 RELEASED ITEM)– MODELED

PROMPT: You have read passages from the novels The Georges and the Jewels and Black Beauty: The Autobiography of a Horse. Both were written in the first person point of view. Write an essay in which you compare the way the authors use first person point of view to develop the characters. Be sure to cite specific from BOTH passages.

QUESTION: How do the authors in the two texts use first person point of view to develop the characters?

The Georges… Black Beauty
P1: “Sometimes when YOU fall off…”– ***challenges

 

P2 intro “I” to show how narrator handles the situation: GIRL who rides for her dad who sells horses

 

P8: how “I” slid off when a horse was spooked

 

P9: Some are nice

 

P10: horse was “curled up next to me like a dog”

 

“I wish I knew where she was”—sad, missing the nice one (***Changed from beginning)

 

 

How to break in a horse

 

P2: “I”=horse

 

***Challenges, too!

 

Bit and bridle=unpleasant: “a great piece of cold hard steel as thick as a man’s finger… pushed into one’s mouth”

 

Begins to consider “my mother always wore one when she went out”—growing up

 

P3: Saddle not bad; “felt proud to carry my master… soon became accustomed to it.”

(***Changed from beginning)

The excerpts from The Georges and the Jewels and Black Beauty both use first person point of view to develop the characters, but they do so in different ways.

In The Georges and the Jewels, the narrator is Abby, a young girl who rides horses for her father who sells them. She reflects on the challenges of riding a horse, noting, “Sometimes when you fall off your horse, you just don’t want to get right back on” (Paragraph 1).   She considers how difficult it can be sometimes to ride a horse. We see her lying on the ground (P 2), then she gets up. She continues to reflect on what it’s like to deal with horses that “spook you off” (P 8), another challenge. But then she recalls nice “sweet bay mare” (P 9) who eventually “curled up next to me like a dog” (P 10), and we see her perspective start to change as she reminisces. By the end, she thinks, “I wish I knew where she was.” She misses the nice one.

In Black Beauty, by contrast, we see the point of view of the horse. “I” in this story is actually the horse…

Here’s an overview of the lesson, which took about two hours:

  • Explain what we’re doing today and why (1 min).
  • Review how to turn the prompt into a question (2 mins).
  • Remind students that we only take notes that answer the question (They had already done this).
  • Remind students that they can use the “thesis formula” (“Both [Text 1] and [Text 2] deal with ____________ [TOPIC/THEME], but they do so in different ways”) or combine it with a restatement of the question. PS: As you will see, we opted for a restatement (2 mins).
  • Explain how to go from taking the notes to writing the model paragraph. Pay attention to how the sentences WORK.  Students should notice that the evidence is EXPLAINED and transitions guide the reader (10 mins).
  • Give students time to write their own second body paragraph (using my notes or their own, which they had taken the day before with their teacher). They did this using Google Docs on their Chromebooks (10 mins).
  • Ask for volunteers to share their second body paragraphs (projected on the SmartBoard) to get feedback, then point out strengths and things to work on (5-10 mins).
  • Give students time to revise based on tips they picked up from the feedback their peers received (5 mins).
  • Discuss the purpose of the third body paragraph: to identify and explain similarities between the two texts. Note: These similarities must pertain to THE QUESTION (5 mins).
  • Give students time to write their third body paragraph (10 mins).
  • Ask for volunteers to share their third body paragraphs to get feedback, then point out strengths and things to work on (5-10 mins).
  • Give students time to revise based on tips they picked up from the feedback their peers received (5 mins).
  • Invite students to complete this “punchy conclusion” sentence starter, “Ultimately, both texts help us realize that ____.” Then randomly call on 5-6 students to share those sentences. Make a big deal about the fact that there is not one “right” conclusion; five different people will have five different plausible conclusions (5-10 mins).
  • Give students 10-15 minutes to finish revising the entire essay.

If you have any questions about this demo lesson or want to reach me about consulting needs, please Email me directly at sarahtantillo@literacycookbook.com

You can find additional modeling handouts (for 4th-grade RST work and 8th-grade Literary Analysis work) on the TLC “PARCC Prep” page.  Followers of this TLC Blog are eligible for a 50%-off discount subscription to the TLC Website, which provides access to more than 1,200 files supporting literacy instruction. (PS: That’s less than 2 cents per file.) Click HERE and use the secret discount code, TLCBOOK50. Please note: The code is case-sensitive. If you would like to register friends at this rate, please Email me for a group registration form at sarahtantillo@literacycookbook.com

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About theliteracycookbook

In addition to this blog, I am the creator of THE LITERACY COOKBOOK Website (www.literacycookbook.com) and ONLY GOOD BOOKS Blog (http://onlygoodbooks.wordpress.com/), and the author of THE LITERACY COOKBOOK: A Practical Guide to Effective Reading, Writing, Speaking, and Listening Instruction (Jossey-Bass, 2012) and LITERACY AND THE COMMON CORE: Recipes for Action (Jossey-Bass, 2014). Check out my Website for more information about my consulting work.
This entry was posted in Assessment(s), Close Reading, Compare and Contrast, Demo Lesson, Literary Analysis Writing, PARCC, Research Writing, Resources, Test Prep, Thesis Statements, TLC Website Resources and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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