In this lesson, students will take the time to share their strongest work and to celebrate the writing of themselves and their classmates.
- Read the lesson and student content.
- Anticipate student difficulties and identify the differentiation options you will choose for working with your students.
- Try to skim through the submitted work before class, to give yourself a sense of what thematic connections might exist between students’ work and Things Fall Apart.
Section 1: Narrative Reflection
- The reflection asks students to think about their effort and process as they completed this unit.
- Take a few minutes to hear some responses and consider what students have learned throughout this unit.
Take a few minutes to thoughtfully answer the following questions.
- On a scale of 1–5, how much effort did you put into your narratives? Explain.
- On a scale of 1–5, how pleased are you with the results of your narratives? Explain.
- What were some of the benefits to working with a writing group?
- What were some of the challenges to working with a writing group?
- How was this assignment different from writing an essay about the novel? Do you think you put in more, less, or a similar effort to what you would have done for a simpler writing assignment?
- How did working with your character group and your community group as you read change your understanding of the novel? Did you enjoy that process, and would you recommend that classes use similar structures in the future?
- What will you remember most about this novel? Five years from now, if someone asked you what it was about, what do you think you would say?
- What did you learn about yourself as a student and writer? What do you hope to continue doing or change through the year?
Share your responses with your classmates. What will you be most likely to carry forward with you from this unit?
Section 2: Favorite Passage
- Students will be sharing these passages with classmates; encourage them to choose passages that they feel comfortable sharing.
- ELL: If you deem it necessary, allow students to prepare and practice before sharing. Offer assistance as needed.
- Decide how it makes sense to split up your students to share their work. One option is to keep them in their writing groups or have them return to their character groups; another option is to create new, random groups so that they have the chance to see work they have not yet seen.
- If you want to keep more of a whole-class focus to the sharing, you might consider trying this activity:
- ✓ Arrange desks in a double horseshoe around the sides of the classroom, with the inner row of the horseshoe facing out so that the students are working in pairs.
- ✓ Give each pair 5 minutes to read and comment on each other's work.
- ✓ Have the students on the inner horseshoe rotate clockwise; each student will work with a new partner.
- If you have a different activity that you enjoy for sharing work, use that instead.
- Take some time to hear students' reflections on the work their classmates shared. Try to highlight thematic connections between their personal narratives and the character narratives.
- ELL: As with other discussions, encourage students to use the academic vocabulary they learned. As they participate in the discussion, be sure to monitor for knowledge of the topic. When ELLs contribute, encourage students to focus on content, and not to allow grammar difficulties to distract them from understanding the meaning (as much as possible).
Look through both pieces of writing you have produced during this unit: Your Character Narrative and your personal narrative.
- From each, mark your favorite passage: this should be at least several sentences long, and can be as long as two paragraphs.
- Be prepared to explain why you chose each passage.
- Follow your teacher’s instructions for sharing your favorite passages with your classmates. For each classmate’s work that you read, leave a positive comment about some aspect of your writing that you particularly enjoyed.
- Then discuss with your classmates. What did you notice as your read your classmates’ work? Did any themes emerge? Did you notice similarities or differences between the personal narratives and the character narratives?
Section 3: Unit Reflection
- Leave time to hear a few responses from this reflection.
- SWD: Assist SWDs in finding themes by asking probing questions, should they need the additional help.
Reflect on the work you and your classmates did during this unit. What themes came across in multiple pieces of writing? Think about how you and your classmates addressed some of the same themes that Chinua Achebe did in his work, and answer the following questions.
- What themes came across in multiple pieces of writing?
- Of these themes, which resonated most with you? Choose one.
- How did Achebe’s work make you think about this theme differently? What about your own and your classmates’ work?
- In what ways were Achebe’s work and your class’s work similar in addressing this theme? How did you address this theme differently?
- Are there any universal lessons or statements to be made about this theme? Are there ways in which each experience is different in relation to this theme?
- What new insights do you have after reading Achebe’s and your classmates’ work, and completing your own? What would you like to remember from this unit in the coming years?
Share your reflection with your teacher.
Section 4: Guiding Questions
- Ask students to revisit the unit’s Guiding Questions. Students should answer them again and compare their responses and note any changes.
- Leave time to hear a few responses.
Revisit the Guiding Questions. Respond to them in your Notebook. Compare your current thinking to your initial responses and note any changes.
- How do our conflicts shape and show our character?
- How can we tell a story about ourselves that’s both honest and positive?
- How do definitions of justice change depending on the culture you live in?
- What are ways individuals can react to a changing world? To a community that doesn’t accept us?
Share your responses with your teacher.