Author:
Jessica Wlotzka, MSDE Admin
Subject:
Literature, Education, English Language Arts
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Level:
Middle School
Grade:
8
Tags:
Blended, Grade 8, MSDE
License:
Creative Commons Attribution 4.0
Language:
English
Media Formats:
Downloadable docs, Interactive

Education Standards (48)

War of Words lesson 3 Remix

War of Words lesson 3 Remix

Overview

 

"Homeless," by Anna Quindlen, allows the student to understand homelessness as it affects many people on a broader scale. She emphasizes the individuality of homelessness, the fact that they not only lack possessions but have no place to keep them.

"The First" (also titled "Eviction") is a short poem by Lucille Clifton that provides the opportunity to compare and contrast the approach to the same issue through another genre.

Final Assessment: 

How do Anna Quindlen and Lucille Clifton use language to convince the reader that their arguments have value? (focus on use of specific language, word choice, mood, tone, etc.)

Introduction

See lesson plan.

Create a Padlet site linked within parenthesis here: (https://padlet.com/) 

Topic: What makes someone who they are? Does where you live matter?

If technology is not available, create a class poster or make a list on the board as you discuss.

Optional FlipGrid (be mindful of students who may currently be homeless): Interview a classmate and record a short introduction of that person on FlipGrid. Include aspects of Padlet discussion and HOW these things make this person who he or she is. Site linked here in parenthesis: (https://flipgrid.com/)

Introduction:

Follow your teacher's instructions to explore the following questions-

1.  What makes someone who they are?

2.  Does where you live matter?

Class Discussion

    • Create a class list of types of strong leads in essays.  (Possible ideas: an unusual or surprising fact, a quote (from a famous or non-famous person), a definition from the dictionary, an anecdote, a provocative question)

    • Discuss some reasons someone might want to write an essay or article AFTER graduating high school and/or college… when no one is forcing them to.

    • Students will read the text of “Homeless” in its entirety  (option to partner read of listen to the teacher while following along for the first read.)

  • Re-read beginning of the essay to determine:

    • How does the author’s introduction begin?  What type of lead is in the essay?

    • Why did Quindlen begin her essay by discussing one individual?  How does that set up the rest of the essay?

    • Where does the introduction end and the body of the essay begin?   

    • What is the tone of the introduction?  What mood does it establish?

1.  After your class discussion led by your teacher, please read or listen to "Homeless" by Anna Quindlen by clicking this link: https://www.upsd.wednet.edu/cms/lib07/wa01000687/centricity/domain/160/emotionalappealhomeless.pdf 

You may ignore the directions at the top.

2.  Now, please re-read beginning of the essay and be ready to discuss/answer the following questions:

  • How does the author’s introduction begin?  (What type of lead is in the essay?)

  • Why did Quindlen begin her essay by discussing one individual?  How does that set up the rest of the essay?

  • Where does the introduction end and the body of the essay begin?   

  • What is the tone of the introduction?  What mood does it establish? (Need to review tone and mood? Please use the attached resource.)

Independent or Pair Work

Students will determine Quindlen’s attitude toward “home”, marking (highlight, underline or sticky note) phrases that demonstrate her tone in the text.  Use Scrible for online annotation OR have printed copies available for students. Review mood and tone if needed: https://www.brainpop.com/english/writing/moodandtone/

  • Quote analysis activity (choose three):

    • “You are where you live.”

    • “She was somebody.”

    • “Home is where the heart is.”

    • “Homes have stopped being homes. Now they are real estate.”

    • “ It has been customary to take people’s pain and lessen our own participation in it by turning it into an issue, not a collection of human beings. We turn an adjective into a noun…” (consider the title and it’s part of speech in your response)

    • “Sometimes I think we would be better off if we forgot about the broad strokes and concentrated on the details.”

    • “No window to look out upon the world. My God. That is everything.”

  • Extension opportunity: An author makes assumptions about the audience (reader).  What basic assumptions does the author appear to make about her audience? (Reader has a home and feels that having a home is important) Are the assumptions reasonable? Why? (Consider source of article—New York Times; who would be reading an essay of this type; the fact that author is speaking as an equal to the reader)

Close Read "Homeless" with a partner or independently. 

Annotate on paper or using the Scrible extension.

Here's what to annotate:

1.  Highlight, underline, or sticky note phrases that demonstrate tone.

2.  Take notes in the margin or on a sticky note that will help you determine the author's attitude toward "home."

3.  Choose three of the quotes below to analyze. Do this as part of your annotations OR respond on lined paper. 

  • “You are where you live.”

  • “She was somebody.”

  • “Home is where the heart is.”

  • “Homes have stopped being homes. Now they are real estate.”

  • “ It has been customary to take people’s pain and lessen our own participation in it by turning it into an issue, not a collection of human beings. We turn an adjective into a noun…” (consider the title and it’s part of speech in your response)

  • “Sometimes I think we would be better off if we forgot about the broad strokes and concentrated on the details.”

  • “No window to look out upon the world. My God. That is everything.”

 

Finished Early? The author makes assumptions about the audience (reader...that's you).  What basic assumptions does the author appear to make about her audience? Are the assumptions reasonable? Why? (Consider source of article—New York Times; who would be reading an essay of this type?; is the author speaking as an equal to the reader?)

 

Class Wrap-Up of "Homeless"

  • Discuss in small groups/pairs; share out to large group.  Quindlen could have approached the problem of homelessness by using statistics and facts. How would the tone have changed if she had done so?  Would it have been more or less effective? Why?

  • What is the difference between “the homeless” (a collective noun) and “homeless” (an adjective) according to Quindlan?  (Direct students to the next-to-last paragraph. Teacher note:  Students sometimes are confused by the last two paragraphs, and believe that Quindlen is saying that people should not care about the homeless.  Make sure that students understand that she is advocating a different approach—one of attention to individuals/people who are homeless, rather than anonymous group of faceless people, the homeless.)

Think-Pair-Share: Chat with a partner or your group. Be prepared to share out to the class!

1.  Quindlen could have approached the problem of homelessness by using statistics and facts. How would the tone have changed if she had done so?  Would it have been more or less effective? Why?

2.  What is the difference between “the homeless” (a collective noun) and “homeless” (an adjective) according to Quindlan?

Close Reading of “The First”/”Eviction” First Read with the Teacher

Distribute copies of “The First”/”Eviction”

  • Read the poem aloud

  • Visualize the scene presented in the poem.  What mood is presented in the beginning? Is it colorful?  Quiet? Noisy?

Listen and visualize as your teacher reads the poem, "The 1st" by Lucille Clifton, aloud. Think about the mood and tone. 

Close Read the Poem

  • Students should reread and annotate using TPCASST organizer (If TPCASST has not been modeled, T may want to pull a small group or do direct instruction/think aloud with students) OR complete the following questions:

 

    • Who is the speaker? (a young child in a neighborhood) What is going on?  

    • Reread the title—why is it important (The 1st of the month is when people are evicted for not paying their rent.)   Is “Eviction” or “The 1st” a better title?  Elicit opinions based on the text.

    • What conflict is presented between the first stanza and the last stanza?  How does the mood change? What does the situation appear to be in the first stanza?  

    • Students should find text based evidence to support their answers.

    • Summarize the story being told in the first stanza.  Who? What? When? Where? Why?

    • What do you notice about the punctuation?  The capitalization (check out the letter i…)?  What does this tell you about what the poet is trying to say?  

    • What is the effect of the repetition in the last two lines?  What has been emptied? What does the word “emptied” mean?

    • What has probably happened between the first stanza and the second?  What has changed about the speaker in the second stanza

Read the poem independently and annotate.

Annotation Choices:

1.  Use the attached TPCASTT organizer and fill in each box.

2.  Complete the following questions on a document or lined paper:

  • Who is the speaker? What is going on?  
  • Reread the title—why is it important   Is “Eviction” or “The 1st” a better title? 
  • What conflict is presented between the first stanza and the last stanza?  How does the mood change? What does the situation appear to be in the first stanza?  
  • Summarize the story being told in the first stanza.  Who? What? When? Where? Why?
  • What do you notice about the punctuation?  The capitalization (check out the letter i…)?  What does this tell you about what the poet is trying to say?  
  • What is the effect of the repetition in the last two lines?  What has been emptied? What does the word “emptied” mean?
  • What has probably happened between the first stanza and the second?  What has changed about the speaker in the second stanza?

Final Assessment

Written Assessment: 

How do Anna Quindlen and Lucille Clifton use language to convince the reader that their arguments have value?

Teacher discretion on rubric requirements. 

Independently (unless you are pulled into a small group with the teacher) answer the following question:

How do Anna Quindlen and Lucille Clifton use language to convince the reader that their arguments have value?

Things to consider:

  • author's word choices/phrases
  • author's message or theme
  • what was each author arguing for or against? What was the point of view or opinion?
  • what does it mean to be homeless?

Answer on a document or on lined paper.