Of Mice and Men 4 Week Unit Plan

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1 Of Mice and Men 4 Week Unit Plan This unit is meant as a step toward thinking open-mindedly and critically. Students will explore the meanings of friendship, morality, loyalty, dreams, and loneliness. I want students to respect different perspectives, use evidence to support their claims, and ultimately form thoughtful, critical opinions based on their evaluations of their own readings and the views of others. UNIT PREFACE THE BIG IDEA & ESSENTIAL QUESTIONS: Creating your own questions through critical thinking: 1. Why should I know how to ask questions? 2. Why is perspective and open-mindedness necessary? What can it do for me? 3. Why should I examine other perspectives to help form my own opinions? 4. Why should I use evidence to support my claim? RATIONALE: Creating questions helps students become more independent and critical thinkers. They will begin to see that how they ask questions can be just as important as what they ask, and they will begin asking questions in a fish bowl discussion leading up to their summative assessment a Socratic Seminar. Because the questions are their own, the students will own the text and the discussions. Moreover, recognizing other perspectives and making the familiar strange can be a bridge to help students understand why they think the way they think both inside and outside of the classroom. Students who are not on the college-track are often better at reading the world and its inequities already. If one of the goals in teaching how to use different perspectives is to teach how to challenge hegemonic beliefs and social constructs in general, then these students in particular

2 may benefit from understanding how to apply multiple perspectives to their own philosophies. I want my students to construct their own meanings and questions but still recognize the value of others opinions. Students should be able to argue positions they don t believe in and see things from other viewpoints because being able to argue different positions allows students to move beyond their own readings of the text to discover the author s and others interpretations and readings. By incorporating social issues and research, students have the opportunity to engage in thinking about different perspectives that affect them and are important to them. It also provides a framework for different kinds of thinking and analytical work throughout the year. CREATIVITY IN LEARNING AND ITS ROLE IN ACTIVATING STUDENTS IMAGINATION IN THIS UNIT This unit would fail without creativity. In addition to relevance and technology, creativity is the other motivating factor in exploring questions and the themes of loyalty, dreams, morality, friendship, and loneliness. Students will create poems using Robert Burns To A Mouse, construct story boards to understand the plot of Of Mice and Men, write a letter to John Steinbeck, and imagine the stories behind various objects in preparation for the next novel unit assignment. TECHNOLOGY TOOLS / RESOURCES AND RATIONALE FOR USE IN THIS UNIT Technology is an additional motivating factor in this unit. Technology is a tool that can be time consuming and unpredictable, but I have found that students are more willing to write using Microsoft Word than pen and paper. In this unit, I use Youtube clips, scenes from the film version of Of Mice and Men, articles about Facebook and television shows, and PowerPoint to motivate students. MATERIALS 1. Burns, Robert - To A Mouse 2. Steinbeck, John - Of Mice and Men 3. Newspaper articles about Facebook, television shows, and social networking 4. Edited Wikipedia articles about Terri Schiavo and Jack Kavorkian OVERARCHING UNIVERSAL CONCEPTS 1. Thinking critically to form opinions. 2. Evaluating different points of view. TOOLS AND RESOURCES 1. Relevant written texts a. Primary: Of Mice and Men, by John Steinbeck b. Secondary (supporting, excerpts, etc): To a Mouse by Robert Burns, newspaper articles about Facebook, television shows, and social networking, Wikipedia articles about Terri Schiavo and Jack Kavorkian 2. Relevant media (audio / video / film clips, ads, etc) a. clip from Of Mice and Men

3 b. Youtube clips from SNL skits about alternate endings to Of Mice and Men c. comic strips about the American Dream d. photos of migrant workers in Depression-era California 3. Models (mentor texts, graphic organizers, etc) a. prep sheet for fish bowl b. focus on characterization graphic organizer c. Youtube clip of a successful Socratic Seminar / fish bowl seminar 4. Technology (based on school site evaluation of resources) a. Youtube b. PowerPoint c. Prezi 5. Supporting handouts a. What does a successful fish bowl seminar look like? b. Compiled questions handouts INSTRUCTIONAL OBJECTIVES COGNITIVE (to know / comprehend / interpret / apply / analyze / synthesize / evaluate) 1. Understand concepts of perspective and open-mindedness. 2. Evaluate a variety of texts, reading them to understand the author s point of view in relation to their own. 3. When reading, applying other perspectives or critical lenses helps one to understand and make meaning of a text. AFFECTIVE (to feel / value) 1. Experience success with reading through strategic reading processes. 2. Value others differences and opinions in culture, style, preferences, self-expression, etc. 3. Engage personally with a variety of texts. PERFORMATIVE (to do) 1. Collaborate effectively with peers. 2. Apply reading strategies to new texts (e.g., predicting, generalizing, summarizing). 3. Use creativity for interpretive purposes. 4. Use evidence to support claims.

4 STANDARDS OF LEARNING The student will participate in and report on small-group learning activities. a. Assume responsibility for specific group tasks. b. Participate in the preparation of an outline or summary of the group activity. c. Include all group members in oral presentations. The student will read, comprehend, and critique literary works. The student will use writing to interpret, analyze, and evaluate ideas. a. Explain concepts contained in literature and other disciplines. b. Translate concepts into simpler or more easily understood terms. The student will collect, evaluate, organize, and present information. a. Organize information from a variety of sources. b. Develop the central idea or focus. c. Credit sources for both quoted and paraphrased ideas. ASSESSMENTS PROCESS ASSESSMENTS Formative Completed free-write journals fish bowl discussion and participation peer review drafts exit slips class debriefs PRODUCT ASSESSMENTS Formative poems preparation for discussion reading quizzes written paragraphs Summative Socratic seminar

5 UNIT MAP Summative Assessment: Socratic seminar, fish bowl for practice Focusing themes: Friendship, Loneliness, Dreams Skills: analyzing and introducing quotations, writing a paragraph, review MLA format, adverbs (Week 1) Plan 1 [15 min.] Silent Sustained Reading (SSR) [15 min.] Review for common assessment [35 min.] poetry activity [5 min.] movie trailer [10 min.] How do you define Dreams (The American Dream)? What is your dream for yourself after high school? How do you think you will be able to achieve it? Free write. [5-10 min.] Share free writes. So now we have two concepts that we are considering: friendship and dreams. Can you have one without the other? Are they related at all? Closure. We will begin reading the book tomorrow after the common assessment. (Week 1) Plan 2 [10 min.] SSR [10 min.] Review for common assessment [45 min.] Common assessment [10 min.] When they finish: hand in assessments, pick up Differentiated Articles, KWL handout, books [15 min.] Friday classwork / read aloud HW: Finish reading Part 1 (Week 1) Plan 3 SSR Characterization worksheet HW: Read Part 2 (Week 2) Plan 4 [15 min] SSR [15 min] individual story boarding find quotations and page numbers to support your drawings [15 min] whole-class story boarding and follow along [25 min] group questions / discussion: friendship Why does George stay with Lennie? What is society s responsibility to people like Lennie who cannot make choices for themselves? [15 min] exit slip / free write HW: Read Part 3

6 (Week 2) Plan 5 [10 min] SSR Watching the beginning of the film Free write Pass back papers HW: Read Part 4 (Week 3) Plan 6 [15 min] SSR [10 min] 3-4 question reading quiz [10 min] watch video clip [10 min] answer a question using a quote [20 min] mini-lesson introducing quotations in a paragraph quotation sandwich and practice [5 min] So why are we doing this? Show a model of a fish bowl. [10 min] create questions as a class Fish bowl volunteers need preparation materials Start homework at the end of class HW: Read Part 5 and prep sheet (Week 3) Plan 7 [10 min] entrance slip: Take our your completed prep sheet and Of Mice and Men Continue reading Of Mice and Men with a focus on the prompt for today What is the meaning of friendship, loneliness, and being an outsider? pass back quiz, pass out double-cheeseburger handout [2 min] go over quiz quickly [10 min] review expectations for outer circle (take notes on their group member / partner to see (1) if he or she follows the guidelines and (2) what stance they took on the discussion), inner circle (follow the guidelines, use supporting quotations, keep the dialogue going), questions format (questions will be on the board for students in the inner circle to choose from if their own questions run out), the hot seat (students in the outer circle can speak up if they go to the hot seat and can tap people out like in wrestling) [20-35 min] fish bowl discussion ask one person to start by reading the prompt and starting with what they think [5 min] whole class debrief with specific questions on the board [10 min] write paragraph using notes and double cheeseburger sheet HW : Read Part 6

7 (Week 3) Plan 8 Video SNL endings Slip with homework on it (reading quiz, Socratic seminar rubric and guidelines) (Week 4) Plan 9 [10 min] SSR preparation HW: prep packet (Week 4) Plan 10 Summative Assessment [10 min] Pre-writing Terri Schiavo and Dr. Kavorkian [50-60 min] Socratic Seminar [10-15 min] Individual Reflection / Paragraph (Week 4) Plan 11 Transition [10 min] SSR pass back grades transition between Of Mice and Men and our next novel Significant objects hook pull up an image with a description you now have 20 minutes to write a story, poem, or song that gives one of these objects a story (Week 4) Plan 12 [15 min] SSR letters to the future students of Ms. B start personal narratives

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