Friday, November 21, 2014

Unit on the Elements of Narrative

Objective:  The students will be able to identify the elements of narrative in both fiction and nonfiction and use these elements effectively in their own writing.

Performance Activity/Assessment:  Narrative essay, Expository essay, and a Character Sketch.

Focus:  Writing

Common Core Standards Covered:  Writing 1,2 3 and Language 1,2,3,4,5,6.

Duration:  4-6 Weeks

Essential Questions:

1.  How do authors use the resources of language to impact an audience?
2.  What is literature supposed to do?
3.  How does the study of fiction and nonfiction texts help individuals create their own understanding of reality and society?
4.  What influences an author to create?

What do we want the students to know?

  • Elements of narrative
  • Characterization (direct and indirect)
  • Setting
  • Tone and how it's created (connotation)
  • Theme (universal and personal)
  • Figurative language
  • Point of View
  • Narrator and Voice
  • Irony and Ambiguity

What do we want the students to do? 

  • Compare tone in fiction and nonfiction
  • Analyze dialogue
  • Analyze Structure of narrative
  • Analyze theme across genre
  • Write a narrative that includes narrative elements.
  • Write an expository essay explaining two stories.

Final Performance Tasks: 

1)   The student will compose their own autobiographical narrative that uses the elements of narrative effectively.

Essay Prompt:  Autobiographical Essay using "A Hero's Story" by Fred Pulse.

Autobiographical Narrative Essay

2)  The student will complete an expository essay which explains the two short stories "The Pedestrian" and "Long Way Home" and tells which story is most likely to happen in the future.

Essay Prompt:  Expository Essay using "The Pedestrian" and "Long Way Home."

"The Pedestrian" and "Long Way Home" Expository Essay Prompt

3)  The students will create an original character sketch using all aspects of indirect characterization that authors of narrative use.

Character Sketch Directions


Thursday, October 30, 2014

Plot and Structure

We all have stories we're living and telling ourselves. 

Literary Terms to Know (Academic Vocabulary)
  • Plot
  • Exposition
  • Complications (Rising Action)
  • Climax
  • Resolution
  • Local Color
  • Suspense
  • Chronological Order
  • Flashback (Flash forward) 
  • Etymology
Activity 1:Academic Vocabulary
Complete the vocabulary assignment before reading the story.Contents Vocabulary Handout
Activity 2:  

"Contents of a Dead Man's Pocket"

Read the story on page 5 of the lit book.  Pay careful attention to how the author slows down time in order to create suspense.  Also make any note of how local color helps readers determine the setting of the action.

Create a plot graph poster (on a regular sheet of blank paper) which labels all parts of the plot as they are represented in the story.

"A Hero's Story"

Activity 1:
Close read "A Hero's Story" and complete the assigned text based questions.

"A Hero's Story"

"A Hero's Story" Text Based Questions

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Setting and Tone

 “Is there anybody alive out there?”

Bruce Springsteen

Literary Terms (Academic Vocabulary): 

Local Color


"The Pedestrian"

Activity 1:  "The Pedestrian" Vocabulary: Vocabulary Handout


Activity 2:  

Read "The Pedestrian" on page 47 of the Lit Book.  Pay careful attention to how the author uses very specific words to create the tone of the piece.  As you read, notice how this tone and the setting of the story helps to develop the overall theme of the story.


Activity 1:  Complete "The Pedestrian" Text Based Questions: 

"The Pedestrian" Text Based Questions


Activity 3:  

Create a New Tone:  Rewrite the first two paragraphs of "The Pedestrian" in a romantic tone.
Here is the first paragraph:  Note all of the words that you will need to change in order to change the tone."The Pedestrian" First Paragraph

Activity 4: 

Watch the video about the author, Ray Bradbury, and write down 10 facts that you didn't know about the man before you viewed this.  Try to make a connection to the works that you have read by him before.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Narrator and Voice

In the early years, I found a voice that was my voice and also partly my father's voice. But isn't that what you always do? Why do kids at 5 years old go into the closet and put their daddy's shoes on? Hey, my kids do it.
(Bruce Springsteen)

Literary Terms to Know:  Academic Vocabulary

Limited Third Person
First Person
Vernacular Style

Activity 1:  Close Read "The Secret Lion"

"The Secret Lion" Full Text

Activity 2:  "The Secret Lion" Text Based Questions

"The Secret Lion" Text Based Questions

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Conflict and Theme

Literary Terms to Know:

External Conflict
Internal Conflict
Universal Theme
Personal Theme
Thesis (Main Idea) in non-fiction

"Highway Patrolman" by Bruce Springsteen

Activity 1:   Close Read the lyrics of "Highway Patrolman" by Bruce Springsteen.

 Highway Patrolman Lyrics

Activity 2:  Watch the video made from the song.

Activity 3:  Answer the Text Based Questions for :"Highway Patrolman"

"Samuel" by Grace Paley

Activity 1:  Close Read "Samuel"

"Samuel" Full Text

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Irony, Ambiguity and Symbolism

Literary Terms to Know:    Academic Vocabulary

Dramatic Irony
Situational Irony
Verbal Irony
Public Symbol
Personal Symbol

"The Lottery" by Shirley Jackson

Activity 1:  Print and Close Read the Full Text and Discussion Questions of "The Lottery."

"The Lottery"Full Text

"Lamb to the Slaughter" by Roald Dahl

Activity 1:  Read the story on page 317 of the literature book.

 "Notes from a Bottle" by James Stevenson

Activity 1:  Read the story on page 375 of the literature book.

 "The Masque of Red Death" by E.A. Poe

Activity 1:  Read the story in the literature book on page 419.

Activity 2: Watch the video on The Black Death and make 10 connections to Poe's story.