BUILDING A LITERATURE PYRAMID

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1 BUILDING A LITERATURE PYRAMID Performance Standard 2A.F Students are to build a pyramid of about one (or more) of the literary elements (e.g., plot, character, theme, setting) by using taken from one of the selections read in class. (Depending upon whether the assessment is used for formative or summative purposes, the students could be assigned a selection that has been read and discussed or a new selection.) accordingly: Achieving completeness and unity: fill blocks with that completes the task assigned for that level on the pyramid; color code blocks to organize. Maintaining accuracy of : provide reliable ; justify the Demonstrating evidence of higher level thinking: demonstrate justifying in Showing clarity of explanations: show understanding of how reader develops impressions based upon given both implicitly and explicitly in a story; show strong awareness of relationships among the various aspects of a Procedures 1. In order to understand how literary elements and techniques are used to convey meaning (2A), students should experience sufficient learning opportunities to develop the following: Read a wide range of fiction. Identify literary elements and literary techniques (e.g., characterization, narration, dialogue, figurative language) in a variety of genres and tell how they affect the work. Describe how the development of theme, character, plot, and setting contribute to the overall impact of a piece of literature. Compare selections with similar characters, plots, and/or themes. Understand and use literary terms (e.g., foreshadowing, metaphor, simile, symbolism, flashback, scene, dialogue). 2. Have students review and discuss the assessment task and how the rubric will be used to evaluate their work. 3. Model this activity for at least one of the literary elements before assigning the assessment task. 4. The pyramids may be done on separate selections or four may be assigned on one selection. 5. Students could be allowed to choose the literature on which they decide to do a pyramid, or they may be assigned a pyramid to complete after having read a never-before-seen literary selection. 6. Students should read the literary selection to be used in the assessment. 7. Students will complete one pyramid sheet for one of the four literary elements (i.e., plot, character, setting, theme). The tasks (questions) for each of the elements are written beside the level (layer) of blocks that build the pyramid. Provide the for that given element, write small and/or be selective with what is written in the space provided. 8. Each student will add visual unity to his/her pyramids by coloring those blocks that relate to the same point (e.g., conflict, character) the same color. For example, pyramid blocks concerning one character could be given a color that represents that character. 9. Each student will conference with the teacher to explain rationale for pyramid entries. 10. Rubric is divided into 4 parts, the first 2 features pertain to the content of the pyramid; the last two features pertain to the way in which the content was derived and how it is explained/justified during the conference with the teacher. The first two features may be evaluated prior to conferencing. 11. Evaluate each student s performance using the rubric. Add each student s scores to determine the performance level.

2 Time Requirements Required time will depend on the number of pyramids each student is assigned as well as the number or length of the selection(s). After the student has read the selection, he/she should be able to complete a pyramid in approximately one class period. Resources Copies of the pyramid sheet Writing materials A copy of the literary selection Crayons, highlighters, colored pencils Building a Literature Pyramid Rubric

3 (Pyramid includes instructions for four separate pyramids.) BUILDING A LITERATURE PYRAMID Title of story or novel. Identify the story element (plot, character, theme, or setting) you are building. For plot-name the first two events that start the storyline For character-name two main characters For theme-name two main ideas For setting-name the time and place For plot-list brief passages that describe the two early events you have listed in level two For character-use the middle block to explain the relationship between the 2 characters listed in level two and use the block below each character in level two to list his/her physical traits For theme-list 3 main events that contribute to the first main idea listed in level two For setting-quote 3 passages that prove the story occurred at the time listed in level two For plot-name 2 or more conflicts and write the page number on which these conflicts begin beside or below the conflict For character-use 2 blocks to list the personality traits of each of the characters listed in level two For theme-name 4 main events that contribute to the second main idea listed in level two For setting-quote 4 passages that describe the place listed in level two For plot-identify the climax for each of the conflicts listed in level four and write the page number on which the climax occurs beside or below the climax For character-list the things the characters in level two do to show personality traits For theme-list 5 passages or quotations that support the first main idea listed in level two For setting-name 5 ways the time affects the storyline For plot-explain how each conflict listed in level three is resolved (more than one box may be used per conflict) For character-list 3 things each character from level two says that reveals his/her personality For theme-list six passages or quotations that support one of the main ideas listed in level two For setting-name six ways the place affects the storyline.

4 BUILDING A LITERATURE PYRAMID NAME DATE Exceeds Meets Approaches Begins total points total points 7-10 total points 4-6 total points Pre-Conference Completeness and Accuracy of Unity Information 4 All blocks are filled All of the with that completes the task provided in the assigned for that blocks is level on the pyramid. accurate and All blocks are properly color coded to organize. 3 Most blocks are filled with that completes the task assigned for that level on the pyramid. Most blocks are properly color-coded to organize. 2 Some blocks are filled with that completes the task assigned for that level on the pyramid. Some blocks are properly color-coded to organize. 1 Few blocks are filled with that completes the task assigned for that level on the pyramid. Few or no blocks are color-coded to organize. Score Most of the provided in the blocks is accurate and Some of the provided in the blocks is accurate and Little (or no) of the provided in the blocks is accurate and Evidence of Higher Level Thinking Consistently used in Usually used in Occasionally used in Seldom/never used in Conference Clarity of Explanations Explanations of pyramid consistently show understanding of how reader develops impressions based upon given both implicitly and explicitly in a Explanations consistently show strong awareness of relationships Explanations of pyramid usually show understanding of how reader develops impressions based upon given both implicitly and explicitly in a Explanations usually show awareness of relationships Explanations of pyramid occasionally show understanding of how reader develops impressions based upon given both implicitly and explicitly in a Explanations occasionally show awareness of relationships Explanations of pyramid seldom or never show understanding of how reader develops impressions based upon given both implicitly and explicitly in a Explanations seldom or never show awareness of relationships

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