Jodi Jago Unit Short Stories December 12, 2006 Prefatory Statement: This unit is about reading and writing short stories. This unit will be beneficial for my students because it exposes them to different short stories and teaches them how to analyze and dissect the different aspects of a short story. This unit also requires students to write their own short stories which give students practice with writing, and especially with being aware of word choice. This unit will give students the opportunity to improve their writing skills, something that they will need when they leave school. It will also provide the students with more practice reading texts and looking at specific parts of a text. This unit will benefit all students because they will have the opportunity to bring in their own favorite short stories, and they will also be writing and hopefully sharing the stories that they write in class. At the end of this unit we will have gathered a collection of short stories from the class which we will compile into a book that will be read for the elementary students. Class Specification: I think that this unit could be adapted for any age group of students; however, my specific unit with the texts I have chosen would work best for high school seniors. This is due to some of the content within the stories, though by varying the texts this unit could be adapted for any age group. I would like to teach in suburban Northern Minnesota, therefore the class would consist mostly of Caucasian students, with an approximately equal mix of males and females. Significant Assumptions: I assume that students will have a general knowledge of the elements of short stories, and will be able to read and develop a basic interpretation of the text. I also assume that the students know the differences between writing fiction and writing informative essays. I also assume that the students are used to not having strict length restrictions. Desired Outcomes/Standards/Objectives to be Met: By the end of this unit I want my students to be able to read and analyze short stories, as well as write their own short stories. I want students to be aware of the various writing techniques used in short stories, and I want my students to be especially aware of word choice and writing as being deliberate. I also want my students to be able to use many of the aspects of writing short stories in their own short stories. I. Reading and Literature D. Literature 4. Evaluate the impact of an author’s decisions regarding word choice, point of view, style and literary elements. 5. Analyze, interpret and evaluate the use of figurative language and imagery in fiction and nonfiction selections, including symbolism, tone, irony and satire. 6. Analyze and evaluate the relationship between and among elements of literature: character, setting, plot, tone, symbolism, rising action, climax, falling action, point of view, theme and conflict/resolution. II. Writing B. Elements of Composition 1. Generate, gather, and organize ideas for writing. 2. Develop a thesis and clear purpose for writing. 3. Make generalizations and use supporting details. 4. Arrange paragraphs into a logical progression. 5. Revise writing for clarity, coherence, smooth transitions and unity. II. Writing C. Spelling, Grammar, and Usage 1. Understand the differences between formal and informal language styles and use each appropriately. 2. Use an extensive variety of correctly punctuated sentences for meaning and stylistic effect. 3. Edit writing for correct grammar, capitalization, punctuation, spelling, verb tense, sentence structure, and paragraphing to enhance clarity and readability. Possible Whole-class Activities: As a whole class we will be reading each assigned short story out loud during class time. The students will also be asked to share their own stories with the whole class. Students will also bring in their own favorite short stories to read for the class (short stories can be story songs, poems that tell a story, things like that as well) during Story Time each Friday. The class will also be creating a class book, and will be organizing, designing, and presenting their book. There will also be whole class discussions about the literature that we are reading and the concepts that we are learning about. The class will also be participating in an activity called circle writing on the first day of class. Possible Small-Group Activities: In small groups the students will be revising and editing each other’s short stories and analytical pieces. The students will have to turn in the drafts of these revised works with the names of the students that revised them. Another small group activity is going to be writing a short story as a small group. Each group member will be assigned a specific role, such as developer of the plot, the character, or the setting. This will be the first writing activity so that students get more comfortable with the idea of writing without having to write a whole story on their own. It will also introduce the different aspects of writing, such as the characters and plot and setting. Individual Activities: Each student will be required to read the short story individually before it will be read out loud during class. The students will also be writing, revising, and editing their own writing individually. They will also be responsible for any illustrations that they want to accompany their story in the class book. Ongoing Activities: Throughout the unit the students will have the opportunity to bring in any stories that they want to share with the class, whether they are just oral stories, famous short stories, or their own stories. Another ongoing activity would be the revising of the short stories. The students will have the opportunity to revise their own writings as many times as they want before they finally turn them in for a final grade. This is to encourage students to work towards improvement and also to teach them how to edit and revise their own work with help from others. Another ongoing activity will be the creation of the class book. Student Resources: The students will all need a copy of Sudden Fiction, edited by Robert Shapard and James Thomas because all of the short stories that we will be reading in class are in that book. Students will also need access to a computer because the final draft of their writing must be typed when it is handed in. The students will also have access to the books in the classroom which consists of childhood story books to novels. There are also poetry books in the room where the students can access different types of poems. Unit Launch/Anticipatory Set/Set Induction: In order to start this unit I would read some popular childhood stories, and have a small class discussion about stories from childhood. What stories were our favorite and why? What does it take to make a good story? Then I would have the students participate in circle writing, where the students sit in one large circle and each student starts writing a story and after one minute passes the story to the person sitting next to them who then adds on to their story. This can be a fun activity because the stories take such drastic turns and it is interesting to see how a student’s story ends in relation to how it began and their original ideas. Organization of the Unit: Attached on next page Detailed Lesson Plans: Attached Supporting Materials for Teachers Who Teach the Unit: -Handouts (attached) Assessment: There is a page attached that includes the requirements and assessment for each assignment. There is also a page attached that further describes the writing portfolio and class book. This unit grade will be determined at a conference with each student. Together we will look at their writing portfolio, which will contain all of their assignments as well as their drafts so we can look at progress, and we will discuss their participation in creating the class book. I do not want to assign points for this unit because I want the students to have an active role in the grade that they get, and I want to look at progress more than points. Organization of the Unit Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday -Introduction to Writing -read Silver Arrows - six sentence paragraph -read Doves in class Story Time Unit (p 284-287) activity -discuss short story -example of story time -read stories -write reactions -read Flying (p 72-74) -revise Assignment 1 in -discuss favorite stories -discuss elements of -discuss word choice small groups from childhood short stories -assign Doves (p 118- -assign Murder, Mystery -what made them your (character, plot, 120) *Assignment # 1 (p265-266) favorite? setting, conflict) -read Murder, Mystery -read Videotape -read The Flowers -discuss story poems Story Time -write reactions -class discussion -write letter to a (listen to “Kidnapped” and -story poem (Sarah -discuss in small groups -small group activity classmate about short “True Story” by Shel Cynthia Stout ) -class discussion about character story Silverstein) -revise Assignment 2 in -assign Videotape (p90- descriptions -discuss culture/short -discuss small groups 96) -assign The Flowers stories -write story poems -assign That Changes (p35-36) -hand back Assignment Everything (p225-227) #1 -sign up for story time *Assignment # 2 * FD Assignment *RD Assignment # 1 #1 DUE DUE -read That Changes -read Fun House -read Grandma’s Tales -introduce class project Story Time Everything -discuss Fun House -small group discussion -book containing stories (student stories) -discuss short story -specifically -class discussion by students, both written in -story songs -short discussion on language -sign up for story time and out of class -Whiskey Lullaby language and culture (student stories) -revise Assignment 3 in -assign Sister Francetta -assign Fun House (p181- -assign Grandma’s small groups and the Pig Baby (p111- 186) Tales (p28-34) -time to work on stories for 113) *Assignment #3 *RD Assignment #2 story time Friday *FD Assignment 2 DUE DUE -read Sister Francetta and -read Relic -read Tergvinder’s Stone -revise Assignment 4 in Story Time the Pig Baby -discuss -discuss small groups -student work time -art responses -small group activity -students share their -introduce student story (class book, -discuss theme -have students relics telling assignments) -assign Relic (p149-155) brainstorm about -sign up for story time -each student will share -discuss cover art for their own relic one of their stories with the class book -assign Tergvinder’s Stone (p88-89) class, either reading the story or telling it *FD Assignment 3 *RD Assignment 3 -work on class book DUE *Assignment #4 *RD Assignment 4 DUE DUE *Assignment #5 -revise Assignment 5 in -bring in stories for -work time At Elementary small groups -start organizing class class book -make sure stories -illustrations for book -story order Student School Reading book (decide on format and cover art) are school appropriate -table of contents -about the authors page Story Stories -start making list of stories to read on *FD Assignment 4 Telling Friday *RD Assignment DUE *FD Assignment 5 5 DUE DUE RD-rough draft FD-final draft Detailed Lesson Plan Word Choice Objectives: The objective of this lesson is to make students aware of word choice in their writing. Students will participate in writing complete sentences and developing ideas within a paragraph. Students will be asked to share their paragraphs with the rest of the class. Students will look at word choice in a short story Anticipatory Set: Begin class by telling the students to pay close attention to what the teacher is about to read, then read a paragraph of 6 sentences in which no two words are repeated (below). Ask the students what they noticed about the paragraph. Hand out worksheet with the paragraph example at the top and room for the students to write at the bottom. Have one student read the paragraph out loud to the rest of the class while the other students follow along. See if any of the students now understand what is going on in the paragraph. Tell the students that in each of the two examples no two words were repeated and give them a minute to look over the example at their desk. We all stood there, ready to begin our race. The starter raised his gun high. POW! I was suddenly among a stampede of girls. Groups battled for good position. Elbows were being thrown left and right. Other competitor’s spikes tripped me up one or two times. Finally, pulling ahead felt great. Using all energy that remained, it was now time to kick in. My body ached finishing. Materials: -Two or three prepared paragraphs containing six sentences with no two words repeated. -Worksheet containing example and room for student paragraphs. -Writing utensils -Dictionary and Thesaurus -“Flying” Procedure: 1. Introduction (anticipatory set) (about 5 minutes) 2. Explain to students that now they will be writing their own six sentence paragraphs where no two words can be repeated. Paragraphs must make “sense”, that is, there must be a topic or theme in the paragraph. Can not just be a series of sentences Contractions can not be repeated, such as can’t and cannot Paragraphs will be handed in, however, will not be graded on content but rather on following the guidelines 3. Give students time to work on their paragraphs (about 30 minutes) Should work individually, can use resources in the room such as a dictionary or thesaurus 4. Allow students to work in pairs (5 minutes) Have students share their paragraphs with each other Allow students to give each other ideas 5. Have students share their poems with the rest of the class. 6. Read “Flying” (pg 72-74) Class discussion on word choice What words in the short story impact our opinions of the characters? Of the plot? Of the setting? Is word choice deliberate? What is the author trying to say by using these specific words? How would the story be different had the author used different words Closure: -Ask students to share their paragraphs with the whole class. Have the class pay close attention for repeated words. -Ask students what kinds of difficulties they ran into while writing their paragraphs. -5 minutes Follow up: Assign the short story “Doves”. Also quickly review the importance of word choice in a short story. Assessment: Students will be handing in their worksheets; however, they will not be graded on content but rather on following the guidelines. Students will be allowed to turn in their paragraphs the following day in case they were unable to finish in class. Also class participation in the discussion and group work. Standards: II. Writing B. Elements of Composition: The students will engage in a writing process with attention to audience, organization, focus, quality of ideas, and purpose. II. Writing C. Spelling, Grammar, and Usage: The student will apply standard English conventions when writing. Name: ______________ I went to school today. My backpack was full of stuff. It had binders and pencils inside. They were used for class work. Brittany is in first period with me. She has a bag filled with things as well. Detailed Lesson Plan First Story Time Objectives: -To demonstrate what I want from students regarding Story Time -Students to gain practice in revising each others writing -To review key terms learned previously in the week Anticipatory Set: (10 minutes) Tell the students that it is story time and have them gather on the floor in a circle. Read The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein as an example of what the students can bring in during story time. Then have students listen to “Check Yes or No” by George Strait (lyrics included). Materials: The Giving Tree “Check Yes or No” Cd Player Procedure: -After Story Time have the students quickly discuss story songs. Do they contain the same elements of a short story? Do story songs have to have a plot? Why? Does a story song need characters? Does a story song need a setting? Why or why not? (5 minutes) -Encourage students to bring in their favorite stories and story songs (but it really needs to be a story) for Story Time next Friday. -Divide students randomly into groups of 4-5 to edit Assignment #1. Each student in each group needs to read, edit, and sign each draft in the group. (25 minutes) -Have students review key terms from earlier in the week. (5 minutes) Closure: Have students listen to “Check Yes or No” by George Strait for one more example of a story song (lyrics included) Follow Up: Have students read “Murder, Mystery” over the weekend for Monday, page 265-266 Assessment: Students will be given participation points for the day. They need to participate in both Story Time and peer revising of Assignment 1 in small groups. Standards: III. Speaking, Listening, and Viewing A. Speaking and Listening: 5. Understand the effects of media on society and culture. Check Yes Or No George Strait For the Last Time: Live from the Astrodome It started way back in third grade. I used to sit beside Emmylou Hayes A pink dress, a matching bow, and her pony tail. She kissed me on the school bus, but told me not to tell Next day I chased her round the playground Across the monkey bars, to the merry-go-round And Emmylou got caught passing me a note Before the teacher took it, I read what she wrote. Do you love me, do you wanna be my friend? And if you do, well then don't be afraid to take me by the hand If you want to. I think this is how love goes, check yes or no. Now we're grown up and she's my wife. Still like two kids with stars in our eyes. Ain't much changed, I still chase Emmylou. Up and down the hall, around the bed in our room. Last night I took her out in a white limousine Twenty years later, she still gets to me Can't believe it's been that long ago. When we got started with just a little note. Do you love me, do you wanna be my friend? And if you do, well then don't be afraid to take me by the hand If you want to. I think this is how love goes, check yes or no. Do you love me, do you wanna be my friend? And if you do, well then don't be afraid to take me by the hand If you want to. I think this is how love goes, check yes or no. Detailed Lesson Plan Story Poems Anticipatory Set: (5 minutes) Listen to Shel Silverstein read “True Story” (Where the Sidewalk Ends, pg 43) and have students listen and follow along to the story. Then listen to Shel Silverstein’s poem “Kidnapped” (A Light in the Attic, pg 159) and have the students again listen and follow along to the story. Materials: Computer (songs are downloaded on my computer) or Texts to read Paper Pens or Pencils Hand Out about Assignment #2 Procedure: Have students get into small groups and discuss the story poems that we listened to. Possible discussion questions: (10 minutes) - Do they have similar elements as a short story? If so, which ones? - Are there any different elements to a story poem than a short story? - Is there more freedom in writing a story poem or more constrictions? Why? Discuss the small group answers as a whole class. Be sure to incorporate key terms and short story elements (such as character, plot, setting, conflict, and theme). (10 minutes) Have the students work on writing their own story poems based on what was discussed in class. Is a setting necessary in a story poem? A plot? Characters? If the class thinks that these things are, then they should be included in their story poems. (15 minutes) At the end of the hour ask if anyone would like to share their story poem with the rest of the class. The story poems will be collected the next day; however they will only be graded based on if they have the necessary elements. Closure: Ask students to bring in story poems that they have heard or read somewhere else. Also tell students that they can write story poems to be shared during Story Time on Fridays and story poems can be included in the class book. Follow Up: Hand out Assignment #2 requirements Assessment: Students will get points for participation in class, and will be turning in the rough draft of their own story poems the following day. Their story poems must include the elements of a short story, however be in poem format. The story poems will be added to the portfolio that will be collected at the end of the unit. Standards: II. Writing A. Types of Writing: 1. Plan, organize and compose narrative, expository, descriptive, persuasive, critical and research writing to address a specific audience and purpose. “Kidnapped” “True Story” A Light in the Attic Where the Sidewalk Ends Shel Silverstein Shel Silverstein Page 159 Page 43 This morning I got kidnapped This morning I jumped on my horse By three masked men. And went out for a ride, They stopped me on the sidewalk, And some wild outlaws chased me And offered me some candy, And they shot me in the side. And when I wouldn’t take it So I crawled into a wildcat’s cave They grabbed me by the collar, To find a place to hid, And pinned my arms behind me, But some pirates found me sleeping there, And shoved me in the backseat And soon they had me tied Of this big black limousine and To a pole and built a fire Tied my hands behind my back Under me—I almost cried With sharp and rusty wire. Till a mermaid came and cut me loose Then they put a blindfold on me And begged to be my bride, So I couldn’t see where they took me, So I said I’d come back Wednesday And plugged up my ears with cotton But I must admit I lied. So I couldn’t hear their voices. Then I ran into a jungle swamp And drove for 20 miles or But I forgot my guide At least for 20 minutes, and then And I stepped into some quicksand, Dragged me from the car down to And no matter how I tried Some cold and moldy basement, I couldn’t get out, until I met Where they stuck me in a corner A water snake named Clyde, And went off to get the ransom Who pulled to some cannibals Leaving one of them to guard me Who planned to have me fried. With a shotgun pointed at me, But an eagle came and swooped me up Tied up sitting on a stool… And through the air we flied, That’s why I’m late for school! But he dropped me in a boiling lake A thousand miles wide. And you’ll never guess what I did then— I DIED. Assignment # 1 Short Story 2 pages maximum length You will be writing a short story about love. The story must be less than 2 pages in length and must contain at least one line of dialog or monolog. The story can be about any aspect of love, but remember to consider the elements of a short story. Please have a rough draft ready on Friday to revise in small groups. You also need to include a title to your short story. You will be graded on MUG (mechanics, grammar, and usage), however I am more concerned with reading your short story and having it be something that you are proud of. After turning in your final draft you will have the option to revise as many times as you want before your grade is final and your story is placed into your portfolio. Assignment #2 Informative Essay 1 page maximum length After reading “The Flowers” choose one paragraph from the short story and analyze how that paragraph affects your cultural understanding of the story. In what ways does language, dialog, or word choice affect how you interpret the story? How does this paragraph influence our understanding of the whole short story? Would we interpret the story differently had the paragraph been written differently? Remember to focus on language and culture in your paper. Please provide a title and have a rough draft ready to revise for Monday. You will be graded on MUG (mechanics, usage and grammar), as well as on the information presented in your paper. Evidence from the text is necessary, and a strong argument and sense of direction is important. Once again, after your final draft has been turned in you are allowed to revise as many times as you would like before this paper is added to your writing portfolio. Assignment #3 Short Story 1 page maximum length Please write a short story about a family member. The story may be true or false. This short story must contain a moral and a central theme related to what we have read in “Grandma’s Tales”. Please include descriptive language and pay attention to word choice. Please include a title, and have a rough draft ready to revise for Thursday. You will be graded on your moral and central theme in this paper. I will be looking at MUG (mechanics, usage and grammar), however, I want the focus mainly on the short story. If appropriate, use dialect and slang to enhance the short story (therefore do not pay as much attention to MUG). You will be allowed to revise as many times as you would like before this short story goes into your portfolio. Assignment #4 Short Story 1 page maximum length Please write a short story about an object, based on what we read in “Relic” and “Tergvinder’s Stone”. Focus on the relationship between that object and something else around it, whether that be a person or a thing. Feel free to be creative when portraying this relationship, show rather than tell. Please include a title for this paper, and be ready to peer revise on Thursday. You will be graded on the relationship portrayed in your short story. Please pay attention to MUG (mechanics, usage, and grammar) if appropriate. You will be given the opportunity to revise until you are satisfied and want your final copy in your writing portfolio. Assignment #5 Informative Essay 2 pages maximum length Looking back over the course of the writing unit, do you think that short stories are important? Why or why not? Please include ideas, concepts, and terms learned in class throughout the last month to support your beliefs. Are there any benefits to reading and writing short stories, and if so what are they? Please provide a title, and feel free to portray strong voice because this paper is about your personal opinion. Please have a rough draft ready for revision for Monday. You will be graded on MUG (mechanics, usage, and grammar). I will also be looking at voice and relevant terms from class used. You will not be graded on whether or not you think that short stories are important, rather you will be graded on your argument and supports for why you feel the way that you do. You may write this informative essay in either a formal or informal voice (because I am asking for an opinion) however, do pay attention to MUG. Unit Projects Writing Portfolio Part of your grade from this unit comes from your writing portfolio. For each of the 5 writing assignments that you have you will be getting a letter grade, however, that letter grade is not final. You have the ability to revise your paper as many times as you want before putting a final copy into your writing portfolio. At the end of this unit your writing portfolio must include the following: ________ Assignments 1 through 5 (all drafts) ________Story Poem (all drafts) ________Any illustrations that you are contributing to the class book (can be a photo) ________Any lyrics or poems that you share with the class At the end of this unit I will meet individually with each student to review the contents of the writing portfolios. Together we will determine a grade for the entire unit based on drafts, final grades, and anything else that has been included. This is somewhat like contract grading, which we have done in the past. Class Book As a class we will be making a class book at the end of this unit. It is required that each student submit one short story to be included in the class book, however, I encourage all students to submit more than one short story. Both short stories required for class and short stories written outside of class may in included, however, they must be appropriate for school. Our book is going to include: A title page A table of contents Short stories Illustrations And an “About the Authors” Section We will be developing this book together as a class and will make all decisions together as a class. You will be graded on participation, as well as what you submit. Submitting more than one short story, however, does not guarantee a better grade. When we are finished with the book we will be going to the elementary school to share some of our short stories.
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