Junior Great Books Unit by jennbrink

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									Shared Inquiry in Literature Circles through Junior Great Books or Literature Classics Grades: 3-5
This reading/language arts collaborative unit is taught during reading and language arts classes to SCOPE and other advanced students. These students participate in literature circles reading a Junior Great Books story specifically selected for their advanced reading level. Usually this week long unit implemented between novel studies. Pre-assessment Students are selected to participate in the unit if they meet the following criteria: Teacher recommendation on motivation and ability, scores on classroom reading tests, AR reading level, and placement in advanced reading group in classroom.

3rd Grade
ELA3R2 The student demonstrates comprehension and shows evidence of a warranted and responsible explanation of a variety of literary and informational texts. ELA3R3 The student makes judgments and inferences about setting, characters, and events and supports them with evidence from the text; recognizes plot, setting, and character within texts and compares and contrasts these elements between texts; makes connections between texts and/or personal experiences. ELA3W1 The student demonstrates competency in the writing process. ELA3C1 The student demonstrates understanding and control of the rules of the English language, realizing that usage involves the appropriate application of conventions and grammar in both written and spoken formats. ELA3LSV1 The student uses oral and visual strategies to communicate.

4th Grade
ELA4R1 The student demonstrates comprehension and shows evidence of a warranted and responsible explanation of a variety of literary and informational texts. ELA4R3 The student understands and acquires new vocabulary and uses it correctly in reading and writing. ELA4W1 The student produces writing that establishes an appropriate organizational structure, sets a context and engages the reader, maintains a coherent focus throughout, and signals a satisfying closure. ELA4W2 The student demonstrates competence in a variety of genres. ELA4W3 The student uses research and technology to support writing. ELA4W4 The student consistently uses a writing process to develop, revise, and evaluate writing. ELA4C1 The student demonstrates understanding and control of the rules of the English language, realizing that usage involves the appropriate application of conventions and grammar in both written and spoken formats.

5th grade
ELA5R1 The student demonstrates comprehension and shows evidence of a warranted and responsible explanation of a variety of literary and informational texts. ELA5R2 The student consistently reads at least twenty-five books or book equivalents each year. ELA5R3 The student understands and acquires new vocabulary and uses it correctly in reading and writing. ELA5W1 The student produces writing that establishes an appropriate organizational structure, sets a context and engages the reader, maintains a coherent focus throughout, and signals a satisfying closure. ELA5W2 The student demonstrates competence in a variety of genres. ELA5W3 The student uses research and technology to support writing. ELA5W4 The student consistently uses a writing process to develop, revise, and evaluate writing. ELA5C1 The student demonstrates understanding and control of the rules of the English language, realizing that usage involves the appropriate application of conventions and grammar in both written and spoken formats.

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Daily Plans for Junior Great Books Unit Monday
EQ: How can I use my personal experiences to help me understand this story?

Tuesday
EQ: What is the importance of this word (phrase or passage) to the message the author is trying to convey in this story?

Wednesday
EQ: Using the text, how can I support my ideas on what this story means to me?

Thursday
EQ: What techniques do successful authors use to write an effective story?

Friday
EQ: How do you incorporate the standard rules of grammar into written formats?

Activity
Teacher will introduce the story with the text opener. Students will discuss the text opener and then the teacher will read they story to class. Class circles vocabulary words they do not know.

Activity
Students will re-read the story marking places related to the EQ. These will be discussed and then they will complete the directed notes activity.

Activity
Students will discuss the questions they wrote in small groups. Students will complete interpreting words activity.

Activity
Students will select either a creative writing or expository writing prompt and will do prewriting and rough draft.

Activity
Students will complete final draft of creative or expository writing and share it with their group.

Homework
 Look up definitions for unknown words.  Write 2 inquiry questions to use in small group discussion tomorrow.

Homework
Complete directed notes activity.

Homework
Complete the interpreting words activity.

Homework
Complete and edit rough draft of story.

Homework
Finish final draft of story if not able to finish in school.

Assessment
Teacher Observation

Assessment
Voc. Words Student Written Questions Teacher Observation of discussion. Directed Notes Rubric

Assessment
Teacher Observation of discussion. Interpreting Words Rubric Student Discussion Rubric

Assessment
Teacher conference during the writing of the rough draft.

Assessment
Grade Level JGB Writing Rubric Teacher Observation of Student Self Assessment Discussion

A detailed clarification and explanation of these procedures can be found in the accompanying Teacher Information section.

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Teacher Information for Shared Inquiry in Literature Circles through Junior Great Books or Literature Classics
This information was taken from the Junior Great Books Website (http://www.greatbooks.org) and is provided here to assist the teacher in effectively implementing a Junior Great Books Unit. Note: Although it is very helpful to have the Junior Great Books materials, you do not need to purchase them to this unit. Any good folk tale or quality short story like “The Fisherman and His Wife” by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm,”Thank You Ma’m” by Langston Hughes, or “Charles” by Shirley Jackson, etc will work. Oftentimes, you can Google the title and author to get the story on-line. If you are not using JGB materials, then choose stories and poems which are rich in ideas and vocabulary.

Day 1:
Text Openers
These introductory activities are designed to help students connect their own personal experience to the interpretive issues in the story. Rather than focusing on unfamiliar vocabulary, genre, or biographical information about the author, which force the teacher to become an authoritative dispenser of information, these activities help students find issues and themes in the stories that will be of great interest to them. If students feel the need to understand a word or phrase, the genre, or more about the author, pursuing then this information becomes part of the student's genuine inquiry into the story, a natural part of her own process of finding meaning.

Multiple Readings
Due to the complexity and level of vocabulary in the stories, it is recommended that students read or hear the story at least twice so they can truly gain meaning from the literature selection. The first reading should be done orally while students listen or follow along in their copies. Hearing the story read aloud helps students get an overall sense of the story. It also helps students understand the selection's tone and grasp unfamiliar vocabulary in context. It is a good idea to have the students either circle or mark with sticky notes any vocabulary words which are unfamiliar to them.

Generating and Sharing Questions
After the first reading, students are encouraged to share their initial responses in the form of questions. These questions don't need to be interpretive; they may be about vocabulary, context, confusing events and passages, or anything that strikes the student. This activity helps students learn to value their own responses to a story, and use them as the starting point for interpretive thinking. Sharing questions as a group helps to set the selection more firmly in students' minds. It provides opportunities to clear up misunderstandings or misconceptions, get help with difficult vocabulary, identify any necessary contextual background, and articulate interpretive issues of interest. More importantly, it allows students to begin expressing their ideas and exercising their curiosity. Since comprehension issues are driven by student needs and interest rather than the teacher's determination of what is needed, reading becomes an individualized journey of discovery, right from the beginning.

Sharing Questions
Students are more invested in the discussion when they have questions which are of interest to them. Help students develop a question that is: ♦Interpretive, in that it can be answered more than one way based on evidence from the selection ♦Compelling to them ♦Addressed in several passages throughout the selection

Day 2:
Junior Great Books activities encourage students to be curious and generate their own questions as they read. When second and third readings of a text are motivated by students' own desire to learn and make sense, they become powerful opportunities for exploration and discovery. Multiple readings also create opportunities for employing a variety of reading strategies, like note taking and generating questions.

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Sustained contact with the text is an important feature of Junior Great Books. Selections are chosen for their ability to reward the attention of multiple readings. The stories and language of these selections are so rich and layered with interpretive potential that the process of discovery and making meaning is not repeated but developed. Meaning continues to grow as careful attention is paid to the text. Sustained interaction with the text will also help students generate more thoughtful writing. During the second reading activity, students can focus on a particular theme or idea and find evidence to include in their essays. 1. Ask students to reread the selection with their question in mind, identifying important passages that relate to it. 2. Have students share their questions and responses in small groups; group students with others working with the same or similar questions 3. Help students revise their questions as needed.

Note Taking On the second reading students mark their text according to the Directed Notes prompt you create for the story (or you can use
sticky notes). For example, in the story “Charles”, students might be asked to mark with an "A" those places in the story where someone admires Charles and a “D” in those places where they seem to disapprove of him. As part of this activity students share and compare the notations they have made. Seeing other students' notes and responses vividly illustrates how the text supports multiple interpretations. This activity guides students through a challenging text and encourages them to read more actively, more carefully, and with a greater sensitivity to the significance of details. Using the Directed Note format consistently helps students internalize different note-taking strategies, learn how to take notes on their own, and realize the value of reading with a question and purpose. Textual Analysis After the second reading on day two, the teacher directs student attention to Directed Note prompts and/or specific passages that are especially significant. The class reads these passages slowly and carefully, while the teacher poses several questions. This detailed attention, called textual analysis, develops greater sensitivity to the tone and nuance of language, and how words choice affects meaning. The questions created by the students can be used for this activity.

Day 3: Shared Inquiry Discussion
In Shared Inquiry Discussion, students share their own ideas and answers to an open-ended, interpretive question posed by the leader or other students. The goal is not for the group to arrive at a consensus, but for each student to develop an interpretation that he or she finds personally satisfying.

The Leader is a Facilitator, Not an Explainer
The purpose of Junior Great Books is for students to think for themselves by building and developing their own answers and interpretations. The leader's role before, and during, Shared Inquiry Discussion is to help students explore and discover what the story means to them. If we are to introduce students to a story that has much to say, then we must allow it to speak, rather than speaking for it. A good leader needs to be ready to pursue ideas and answers of any shape and variety, and resist the temptation to judge the idea. Leaders try to understand why a student thinks the way he does, and find out if the idea can be supported from the text. Shared Inquiry Discussion is thinking shared out loud. The story calls students to explore its ideas and raise alternatives. A good leader tries to catalyze and inspire this natural interaction, rather than direct or control it. Discovery and insight represent a deeper, more active form of learning. When a teacher begins to explain a story, students no longer need or want to develop an interpretation of their own. The student never learns that she could have made sense of it for herself. Because she poses a genuine question for Shared Inquiry Discussion, the leader is able to resist the temptation to explain, and can maintain an environment in which students feel encouraged to think for themselves. In Shared Inquiry Discussion, the leader approaches students with a genuine question -- one for which she/he does not have any single most satisfying answer. This enables her/him to be open to whatever ideas, answers and interpretations her/his students raise.

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Rules for Participating in Shared Inquiry Discussion (make a poster and hang in the classroom)
1) Only those who have read the selection may take part in the discussion. 2) Discussion is restricted to the selection that everyone has read. 3) All opinions should be supported with evidence from the selection. 4) Leaders may only ask questions, not answer them.

Before Shared Inquiry Discussion
Shared Inquiry Discussion Small-group work and Shared Inquiry discussion help students see how other readers understand and interpret the text. The following suggestions may help students find and explore topics that interest them: ♦Consider holding two or three short discussions and letting students choose which question to write about. ♦Encourage students to take notes, to jot down ideas and think of questions that pertain to their topic during the discussion. ♦After the discussion, ask students to write down ideas and questions that arose during discussion that will help them with their essays. Shared Inquiry Discussions are focused on an interpretive issue as it is expressed by an interpretive question. But where does the interpretive question come from? Effective interpretive questions express your curiosity about the meaning of the story. To lead Shared Inquiry Discussion successfully, you need to be involved with the ideas and opinions your students express.

Before Shared Inquiry Discussion
In order to participate successfully in Shared Inquiry Discussion, students need to develop. A variety of activities can help students get to know and understand the story. The selections in Junior Great Books address important and powerful issues and ideas about life and human existence. Often these are exactly the areas where we want to make sure students "get it right." The compelling messages of these stories can be exactly the things we want to communicate to our students. In Shared Inquiry Discussion, students share their own ideas and answers to an open-ended, interpretive question posed by the leader.

Basic Guidelines for Shared Inquiry
1. Read the selection carefully before participating in the discussion. This ensures that all participants are equally prepared to talk about the ideas in the work. 2. Support your ideas with evidence from the text. This keeps the discussion focused on understanding the selection and enables the group to weigh textual support for different answers. 3. Discuss the ideas in the selection and try to understand them fully before exploring issues that go beyond the selection. Reflecting on the ideas in the text and the evidence to support them makes the exploration of related issues more productive. 4. Listen to other participants and respond to them directly. Directing your comments and questions to other group members, not always to the leader, will make the discussion livelier and more dynamic. 5. Expect the leader to only ask questions. Effective leaders help participants develop their own ideas, with everyone gaining a new understanding in the process. Participants should look to the leader for questions, not answers.

Checklist for Effective Interpretive Questions (make a poster and hang in the classroom)
        The text supports more than one reasonable answer. I see more than one reasonable answer based on the text. I want to know the best answer. My students want to know the best answer. The wording of the question will not confuse my students. The question does not contain terminology that my students might not understand. The question does not contain any ambiguous words or phrases for which my students will have various understandings. My students will understand exactly the part of the story I am asking about.

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 

The question does not contain any unnecessary interpretive assumptions about the story. The question does not needlessly refer to the author.

Discussion Tips (make a poster and hang in the classroom)
        Listen carefully Strive for answers Turn to the text often Use your seating chart Be patient Encourage students to speak directly to each other Be open to challenges to any assumptions in your question Give everyone a chance to contribute

1. Arrange seating in a circle.
An arrangement in which the leader and students can see, listen to, and talk directly to one another encourages genuine interaction and stimulates discussion. Having the leader be part of the discussion group and sit at eye level helps to avoid the teacher being seen as the authority on the story’s meaning. It communicates the kind of respect, responsibility, and empowerment desired. It is also helpful if everyone is at a table and has a surface on which to write.

2. Prepare a seating chart.
During discussion, leaders take note of ideas and keep track of participation with the help of a seating chart. Placing checkmarks beside students' names as they participate can help ensure that everyone has had the opportunity to join in the discussion. Notes give you some record of the ideas expressed and can help you formulate follow-up questions.

3. Pose an interpretive question.
Not all questions are equally effective for Shared Inquiry Discussion. Interpretive questions can be validly answered in more than one way. The text itself will support these various valid answers. Rather than focusing on a question with a single correct answer or a question that forces speculation and guessing, Shared Inquiry focuses on a question that can be adequately answered in more than one way, and that calls for supporting evidence and reasoning. An interpretive question is most likely to generate a lively discussion that will lead all participants to a deeper understanding of and appreciation for the story.

4. Give students ample time to reflect and write an answer.
People think in different ways and at different rates. It is too easy to jump into discussion before everyone is truly ready. Writing helps students think; it demands that they articulate their ideas in words and sentences. After writing, students are in a much better position to contribute constructively to the discussion. Students who have written are also in a better position to listen to and appreciate the ideas of others. They don’t have to worry that they will forget their idea, and they have an established viewpoint from which to consider other alternatives.

5. Lead discussion only by asking follow-up questions.
A follow-up question is any question the leader asks in Shared Inquiry Discussion other than the initial interpretive question, which serves to focus the discussion. The leader does not prepare follow-up questions; they are a spontaneous attempt to follow students' ideas and line of inquiry in discussion.

Remember: Leaders may only ask questions, not answer them.
Listen and enjoy the ideas that arise. Ask follow-up questions to help participants:   Explain themselves Understand another student's idea or answer

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   

Back up ideas from the text Express agreement or disagreement Talk directly to one another Pursue implications and answers

Every discussion has its own tone or flavor. Some are fast and lively, while others are more thoughtful and slow; some are more cooperative and others a little more combative; some are serious and deep, while others are light and humorous. To lead a discussion is not to force it into one or other of these kinds, but to help it become the most valuable kind it can. Whenever people emerge from a discussion with a better understanding and deeper appreciation of the story, you can be sure that it has been a success!

6. End discussion after ...
When is discussion over? There is no simple answer. Theoretically, the inquiry into the meaning of the text is never complete. It is not a matter of achieving consensus or arriving at the "right" answer. Discussion should last long enough that students’ ideas have been explored and enhanced by the process. It should not last so long that participants become tired of the question or story. (It’s better to end too soon than too late.) As students become more proficient, they will become able to spend longer in discussion. Two signals which indicate it is a good time to end the discussion are: 1. 2. When students begin to range well outside the scope of the question, it can be a signal that their curiosity for that question has been satisfied. When the same answer seems to be repeated with little or no development, it can be a sign to move on.

Last, it’s almost always a good idea to decide beforehand the maximum amount of time you will spend in any single discussion.

7. Closing Activity
This brief session is where students reflect about a question discussed helps students assess what they have learned during the shared inquiry discussion. Some of these questions that can be used during this activity are:     Did you change your answer? Did you hear an idea you especially liked? What different answers to the question did you hear? Are there other questions about the story we have not explored?

This exercise helps give students a sense of closure and accomplishment as well as an opportunity to recognize what they have learned.

Exploring Key Words and Phrases
Interpreting Words activities completed as homework on day three focuses on a word or phrase that takes on a great deal of interpretive resonance in the story. For example, students might focus on the repeated use of the word luck in "Jack and the Beanstalk." Rather than simply learning new vocabulary, students explore how specific words contribute to the broader interpretive issues of a story.

Days 4 & 5: Post discussion
Writing prompts encourage students to explore the story's meaning and ideas beyond the strict boundaries of interpretation. Creative writing activities offer an opportunity for students to play with imaginative variations and possibilities suggested by the story. Personal essays ask students to reflect on their own experience in light of the ideas and themes of the story. Evaluative essays engage students in a broader dialogue with the text in which they ask themselves whether they agree with the ideas presented.

Developing Ideas 7

Help students develop their ideas before drafting their essays. Have students write down their answer to the question they have chosen—this ultimately will become the thesis of the essay. 1. Ask students to identify passages, questions, and alternative interpretations to address in their essay. 2. Suggest that students work with a partner to review the thesis to address in their essay, asking each other questions such as: ♦What evidence is needed to support the thesis? ♦Which passages speak most strongly to the question? ♦Are there passages or questions that are likely to be seen differently by others? ♦In what order should the subtopics be addressed?

Drafting and Revising
Allow sufficient time for at least two drafts. Explain to students what you will be looking for in their first and second drafts. After students have completed a first draft suggest revisions to strengthen the structure of the essay and the presentation of ideas. Refer to the writing rubric you plan to use to evaluate their writing to help students understand that the revision process produces a steadily improving essay and is a practice of all good writers. After the second draft, look at style, word choice, grammar, spelling, and punctuation.

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Rubric for Student Participation Discussion Discussion of Text 5
Extend their ideas while trying to keep them Consistent.

4
Explain answers.

3
Give answers based on motives and causes.

2
Give thoughtful answers.

1
Give short, superficial answers.

Retelling Parts of Story

Build support from different parts of the text.

Explain how evidence supports an idea.

Offer an idea based on evidence from the Text.

Hear and consider other students’ answers before speaking.

Point to relevant passages.

Allowing Others to Speak

Contribute to other students’ ideas.

Explain why they agree or disagree.

Agree or disagree with other students’ ideas.

Hear and consider other students’ answers before speaking.

React briefly to other students’ answers.

Sequential Progression of Ideas

Ideas are well organized,

Rubric for Vocabulary Words

Name: ______________________________

Indicator Words Identified Elements

3 Identified more than 5 words. Each word had the part of speech and definition. Definitions were detailed and accurately matched the meaning and context clues in sentence. Responses were neatly written and easy to read.

Definitions

2 Identified 3 or 4 words. Some words were missing either part of speech or definition. Definitions accurately matched the meaning and context clues in sentence. Responses were fairly neatly written and readable.

1 Identified less than 3 words. Most words were missing either part of speech or definition. Most definitions accurately matched the meaning and context clues in sentence. Responses were not neatly written and difficult to read.

Appearance

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Rubric for Directed Notes Activity Sheets Name: ______________________________ Indicator Assignments 3 Assignments were completed. 2 Assignments were partially completed. Answers were accurate, and complete 1 Assignments were not completed at all. Answers were inaccurate and/or incomplete.

Content

Appearance

Answers were accurate, complete, and had lots of details or elaboration of ideas. Responses were Responses were neatly written fairly neatly and easy to read. written and readable.

Responses were not neatly written and difficult to read.

Rubric for Interpreting Words Activity Sheets Name: ______________________________ Indicator Assignments 3 2 Both assignments Assignments were completed. were partially completed. Answers were Answers were accurate, accurate, and complete, and complete had lots of details or elaboration of ideas. Responses were Responses were neatly written fairly neatly and easy to read. written and readable. 1 Assignments were not completed at all. Answers were inaccurate and/or incomplete.

Content

Appearance

Responses were not neatly written and difficult to read.

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