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Sunday, December 8, 2013

Creating Analogies (Part 2): The Giver and Milkweed

From my analogy lesson with The Giver, I learned that I added a bit too much for my academic students to understand and left out a piece that is necessary for my understanding of student work. As I worked through my classes, I was having to modify the lesson. For my Pre-AP class analogy lesson with Milkweed, I have made some adjustments. 

The iceberg is gone in the Pre-AP lesson. My academic students were struggling enough with creating the analogies. Trying to make the animal analogies fit the iceberg was one step too much for them. With my co-teach class (academic and special education students), I never even introduced the iceberg. With another class, I had the students create the analogies, then determine where they would fit on the iceberg. Since we did the lesson as a workshop, I simply had them explain this element to me to see if they were grasping the idea. 

I have added an explanation piece to the Pre-AP lesson. As my academic students were showing me their analogies, I found myself repeatedly asking, "What do you mean by this? What is the connection?" Sometimes I forget that their thinking is not always going to be clear in their writing. I needed this extra step with them in order to not be guessing at their thinking. Every now and then they surprise me with a thought that I would never assume they had without the explanation of it. 

My academic classes only read the first five chapters of The Giver, while my Pre-AP students have read all of Milkweed. I am not sure that there was really enough information about Jonas in the first five chapters to get the analogy work that I wanted. For Pre-AP, however, they have a wealth of information to work with. Because of this, I have added two analogies that they must create: cockroach and milkweed. The cockroach image shows up repeatedly in the novel, and I want my students to put some thought into why. Milkweed is only mentioned a couple of times, but since it is the title of the novel, there must be a reason for it. I want to see what their thoughts about this are, as well. 

We will see how the revised lesson goes. Samples to come. 

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