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Sunday, November 17, 2013

The Giver: Chapter 1

While my Pre-AP students are reading Milkweed, my academic students will be reading The Giver. Last year, I will honestly admit that I did some of my worst teaching with The Giver. I was frustrated with my students. They refused to read outside of class, impeding the lessons I was trying to cover in class. For the most part, we listened to the book and did very little with it. Of course, when I was doing this, my newly-promoted secondary superintendent was brought to my classroom to view some of the finest teaching our school has to offer. (sigh) Not my best moment, but I refuse to let it happen again. 

Prior to beginning the novel, we will be going through our Texas Literacy Initiative vocabulary routine with the word release. Although I know my kids know this word, I want to put focus on it since it is such an important concept in the novel. We will be viewing the presentation with Nearpod so that I may assess understanding of the term. I am not expecting any issues here. We will come back to discuss this more after reading the first chapter of the book. 

Last year, I began by having my students create their own perfect societies, but it become more of a distraction and never truly connected to the novel the way I had initially intended. This year, I'm throwing that out the window. For chapter 1, we will focus on Contrasts & Contradictions from Notice and NoteThey are already familiar with Contrasts & Contradictions, but now we are going to shift away from characters and focus on the setting. I want them delving deeply into the differences between Jonas' world versus our own to see what this "perfect" world is like. 

In preparing the Contrasts & Contradictions lesson, I incorporated Christopher Lehmans' Close Reading Ritual from Falling in Love with Close Reading. The lenses will be focused on the setting of the story. The patterns will be the Contrasts & Contradictions. We will then use this information to create a picture of Jonas' society. 

As with some of my previous lessons, I am going to have my students respond to the presentation questions using Nearpod. By using Nearpod, I ensure that every student submits a response, rather than letting another student answer on his/her behalf. I can skim through their responses and see who is understanding the text and the strategy, as well as who is not. This information is also saved in a report that I can use as needed.

This is definitely a better start from last year's teaching. Ain't nobody comin' back this year to say I ain't doin' my J-O-B!


  1. Two texts at once! How do you feel you do with that? I find it tricky to fully develop lessons and discussions over multiple books at once - although I do it too!

  2. I read six or seven books at a time (minimum), so teaching two isn't too bad. It's just time consuming. My academic classes will all read The Giver, and only my Pre-AP will read Milkweed. They are my last class of the day, so I'm not even having to flip back and forth during the day.