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Technolgy and Thematic Lessons in Literature


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Keywords: Flip Video,
Subject(s): Video, Technology, Reading, Social Studies, English/Language Arts, Civics
Grades 9 through 12
NETS-S Standard:
  • Creativity and Innovation
  • Communication and Collaboration
  • Critical Thinking, Problem Solving, and Decision Making
  • Digital Citizenship
  • Technology Operations and Concepts
View Full Text of Standards
School: Port Huron High School, Port Huron, MI
Planned By: Nancy Marshall
Original Author: Nancy Marshall, Port Huron
Learning Goal:
• Using the Rigor and Relevance Framework, students will use technology (Flip VideoT and links to Media Center website) to convey their understanding of the theme of a novel and its implication in real-world situations.

Essential Knowledge/Skill:
• Students will use reading skills in a variety of texts.(novels & manuals)
.
Level 1: Knowledge in one discipline.
• Students will identify the literary terms metaphor and theme in their reading.

Level 2: Apply knowledge in discipline.
• Students will choose a novel in a genre that typically will have a theme. Students will analyze the theme of their novel with other members of the class by choosing to participate in one of the following:
• Activity #1: A group where 6-8 people read the same title.
• Activity #2: Read a title individually.

Activity #1: Socratic Circle

The Socratic Circle is used to give students the opportunity to answer questions that are not just a dead end “yes” and “no”, but to create an environment where students can examine both contemporary and historical issues as they relate to their readings. In this case, students will be asked to discuss with their fellow readers one of the following about their novel:
• What would be a good metaphorical title for this book as it relates to your experiences?
• Locate and discuss excerpts from the novel that you believe best identified the theme of the story.

Basic Structure of the Socratic Circle:
1. Students have all finished reading the chosen novel.
2. Students are divided into two circles with one group standing around the other seated group.
3. The seated or inner circle reads the question aloud and discussed it for about ten minutes while the standing or outer circle observes quietly.(talking allowed only in the inner circle)
4. The outer circle evaluates the inner circle’s conversation and provides feedback to the inner circle.
5. Students switch circles and are given a new question.
6. The new inner circle reads the question aloud and discussed it for about ten minutes while the outer circle observes quietly.
7. The outer circle evaluates the inner circle’s conversation and provides feedback to the inner circle.



Activity #2: Book Talk

When giving a Book Talk, students will to give just the right amount of information to your listeners without giving away the conclusion. The main idea is to get them interested in reading it themselves.

• State the title, author, and genre while showing the book.
• Who is the main character in the book?
• Is the main character the protagonist or antagonist?
• What is the main conflict in the book that involves the main character?
• Summarize a bit of the plot without revealing the conclusion; be aware of the audience that you are addressing and use the appropriate language.
• Hint at the climax to intrigue the listener.
• What are the important themes in the work?
• Select a short passage from the novel to show the author’s style and explain its relevance to the story.
• The Book Talk should be 4-6 minutes in length.


Level 3: Apply knowledge across disciplines.
• Students will read the manual to discover how to use the Flip VideoT.
• Students will illustrate a plan for taping both the Socratic Circle and/or Book Talks.
• Students will demonstrate their ability to download the videos from the Flip VideoT onto the media center web site and create a link so all students may observe the book reviews.

Level 4: Apply knowledge tor real-world predictable situations.
• Students will create a film showing the discussion either in a Socratic Circle group or individual book talks based on analyzing the following question in which the student(s) reflect on their understanding of the character and theme in a real-world predictable situation.
• How do you think the character’s behavior relates to your own personal behavior if you were faced with the same moral dilemma?

Level 5: Apply knowledge to real-world unpredictable situations.
• Students will develop reflective skills about making choices in unpredictable life situations due to their new skills in communicating and identifying life lessons (morals) through discussions of theme.

Level 6: Evaluation.
• Students will evaluate the book talks and create a list rating the novels read by the students to be posted on the school web site and posted in the library.
• Our Summer Reading Program will act as a pilot for this lesson as we encourage a variety of reading for the 2011-2012 school year.



Michigan Curriculum Framework Content Standards met with this lesson plan:
Section II:
Standard 1,2,3. Meaning and Communication
All students will read and comprehend general and technical material.
All students will focus on meaning and communication as they listen, speak, view, read, and write in personal, social, occupational, and civic contexts.
Standard 4. Language
All students will use the English language effectively.
Standard 5. Literature
All students will read and analyze a wide variety of classic and contemporary literature…to seek information, ideas, enjoyment, and understanding of their individuality, our common heritage and common humanity, and the rich diversity of our society.
Standard 6. Voice
All students will learn to communicate information accurately and effectively and demonstrate their expressive abilities by creating oral, written, and visual texts that enlighten and engage an audience.
Standard 7. Skills and Processes
All students will demonstrate, analyze, and reflect upon the skills and processes used to communicate through listening, speaking, viewing, reading, and writing.
Standard 8. Genre and Craft of Language
All students will explore and use characteristics of different types of texts…to construct and convey meaning.
Standard 9. Depth of Understanding
All students will demonstrate understanding of the complexity of enduring issues and recurring problems by making connections and generating themes within and across texts.
Standard 10. Ideas in Action
All students will apply knowledge, ideas, and issues drawn from texts to their lives and the lives of others.
Standard 12. Critical Standards
All students will develop and apply personal, shared, and academic criteria for the employment, appreciation, and evaluation of their own and others’ oral, written, and visual texts.




Cross-Curriculum Ideas
Elements of Literatuare learned by reading novels will be connected to real-world situations through theme and conveyed to others with technological applications.
Follow-Up
Students will evaluate the book talks and create a list rating the novels read by the students to be posted on the school web site and posted in the library. Our Summer Reading Program will act as a pilot for this lesson as we encourage a variety of reading for the 2011-2012 school year.
Materials: Flip Video