The following lesson plans were created for my unit on To Kill a Mockingbird. Since one of the students' final assessments will be to write a critical analysis essay, two of these lessons focus on using writing skills such as using metaphor and simile, and effectively introducing quotations into the context of a persuasive written argument. The third lesson promotes increased comprehension through visualization techniques.
Metaphor / Simile: Up to this point, students have been working on identifying themes within the text, such as tolerance, justice and coming-of-age, while also making text-to-text/self/world connections. They have analyzed dialogue in order to find evidence of characterization, visualization, and setting. They have also been working on effective paragraph writing using the MEAL plan. My assessment of students’ writing prompts and journals has shown that most of them are struggling to incorporate transitions, quotations, metaphors, and other devices/elements into their writing prompts and journals. Therefore, this lesson will help to address those needs by giving them the ability to “spruce up” their writing with vivid language and imagery through the use of metaphor and simile.
Introducing Quotes: Within the reading, students are now analyzing the ways in which Atticus uses language in an attempt to persuade the jury. As they continue to think about their own final project, they may want to write a critical analysis in which they will need to back up their statements using evidence from the text. However, my assessment of their journals and writing prompts has shown that most of the students are unable to correctly quote material from a source text into their writing. Far too often, the students will quote a passage or dialogue in such a way that it causes the meaning to be lost, or the quote is not used in the proper context. Therefore, this lesson will address some of the skills necessary to be able to introduce effective quotations into the context of a persuasive written argument.
Visualizing: I believe it is important for students to be able to effectively visualize the themes, characters, setting, etc. of the novel as a way to aid comprehension and to better understand the context in which they are being used. This lesson will address some of the skills necessary for effective visualization while allowing me to assess their understanding through written response.