November 11, 1998
Lesson Plan #2: Culture and Plot with reading and writing
Objective: To teach the students about "plot" and how it relates to a type of story. Then, they will have the opportunity to teach their classmates about their culture, and finally with Reader's Theater, they will have the opportunity to act out and discuss their group's choice of a fairy/folk tale.
Background: A class of 20 students, intermediate secondary students with a strong background in grammar and reading. We have been involved in a unit on mythology and folk/fairy tales. They just studied the term "plot," and how it involves characters, a crisis involving some sort of villain, a climax and a resolution, as a bare minimum. Because fairy tales have strong examples of these elements, I have devoted a unit to them. In class, we have been reading examples from different cultures (the Bros. Grimm, English folk tales, Ali Baba and the 40 thieves and the Baba Yaga stories from Russia). For homework, I have asked the students to select their favorite fairy tale from their own home.
Opening: We will open with another Disney song. I chose the song "Beauty and the Beast," because it shows the basic plot line in a fairy tale. I have read the story to the class. Since we have discussed the plot line, I will have a quiz already prepared - about the elements of fairy tales that are included in the song, and a brief definition of what a fairy tale is (for review). The quiz is primarily open-ended questions so the students can answer with whatever they can think of. This will be assessment, as well as an intro into the first activity.
Activity 1: Story map of the basic fairy tale plot-line. We will do this as a class, and start out with the basics - the characters, the crisis, etc. This way, the people that do not know or understand will be able to work out for themselves what they should know.
Activity 2: The class will get together in their groups and begin reading the stories together. The groups have been preselected by me, with four people to each group. The groups are the same throughout each unit, and then I switch them. In any case, they read and respond to each story with a response sheet that they are used to filling out for the class, merely about what interested them, and how the author wrote. Was it easy to understand, etc.
Activity 3: Really, this is merely an extension of Activity 2. They will choose whichever fairy tale they think is the "coolest," to present it as a reader's theater. They will begin in this class period working on how to act out the fairy tale they have selected, whether they want to make a puppet show, or just act it out on their own. Over the course of the next few class periods, they will present them, and then we will discuss each group's and how they relate to our former discussions on fairy tales and themes.
Activity 4: After the groups have presented their cultural fairy tales, I will start them on another assignment. Since the students know the plot of fairy tales, they can write their own fairy tale with a villain and a hero or heroine that overcomes astronomical events to live "happily ever after." For this, I will show the class an example: something that I wrote myself in junior high school.
Closing: Before the class closes, I will have the students come back together to discuss their group's fairy tales: i.e. how the fairy tales from the different cultures were the same, and how they were different, etc. For homework, the groups will just have to think about how the fairy tale they chose applies to discussions, and how they will be able to present it. They can meet together before next class to ensure that their presentations will be good. The students will be prepared to begin on their own fairy tales, as well.
1. I've already annotated why I thought it a good idea to include the classroom discussion on plot in the review, so I'll leave that as it is.
2. Many of the activities dealt with group work. this will help the students to contextualize their learning with others' learning. Also, this will help the students work on their social skills, and their conversational skills as well.
3. Each group will have the opportunity to combine TPR, reading, oral and listening skills in the Reader's Theater. They will have to present in a way that is comprehensible to their classmates, and those that are watching will have to try to understand what they are presenting.
4. There are practice activities as well as an assessment where I start them off with a quiz. This will allow the students to be constantly thinking of the concepts I have taught (i.e. "plot"). Every activity deals with plot and all the aspects involving that.
5. There is variety, and a lot of TPR that will keep the students' attention throughout the course of these days.
Quiz: Beauty and the Beast
-What is the basic story?
-Who are the characters?
-What is the crisis?
-What is the climax of the story?
-How is the story resolved?