A. Introducing Performance Task and Selecting Organizing Ideas (15 minutes)
- Celebrate the strong work that students have done in their essays. Comment on the strengths you have noticed in how they analyzed the novel. Tell them that in a few days, they will have a chance to revise the essay they wrote, but that you’ll need a few days to look over their work and give them feedback.
- Tell them that in the meantime, they will start preparing to write another piece. Direct their attention to the learning targets and explain that they will be writing a two voice poem that compares and contrasts Salva’s and Nya’s experiences, especially as they relate to survival in South Sudan.
- Just as Park got to think about what she really wanted to communicate about Salva, Nya, and the Sudan, students will get to choose some important ideas and craft and perform a poem that communicates them. Highlight that writing this poem is a chance for students to use their creativity and encourage other people, especially people who don’t know about Sudan or haven’t read the novel, to understand more about the situation there and how it affects teenagers. This is a good time to build enthusiasm by discussing the format or venue in which students will share their final work.
- Turn and talk:
* “What is one thing you have learned in this module that you think it is important for other teenagers to know?”
- Distribute the Performance Task Prompt: Two voice Poem and the Model Two voice Poem. Ask students to follow along while you read the poem out loud once all the way through.
- Then ask seat partners to read the poem out loud: One person reads character A, the other person reads character B, and they choral read the parts in the middle.
- Remind them that they are both reading the parts in the middle because both characters can say those statements. Check their understanding by asking:
* “Would the center column count as a comparison or a contrast between the two characters?”
- Listen for them to remember that comparing means noticing similarities and differences, while contrasting means noticing differences. Remind students that they discussed the difference between comparing and contrasting earlier in their studies (Unit 1, Lesson 4).
- After students have read the poem, ask them to read the Performance Task Prompt and underline the main aspects of the task.
* “How will a two voice poem allow you to compare and contrast Salva and Nya?”
* “How will you use the novel and informational texts?”
- Listen for students to notice that one side will be Salva, the other side will be Nya, and the middle will be the things they have in common. Listen for students also to notice that they will use evidence from various informational texts they have read, as well as from the novel.
- Tell students that all strong pieces of writing have a focus and a purpose. In their essays, they made a claim about survival and supported it with evidence. In order to write a strong poem, they will also need a focus, and they can choose several ideas to focus on. Tell students that they may use some of the thinking they did for the essay in this poem.
- Reread the part of the Performance Task Prompt that directs them to focus on ways that Salva and Nya survived, as well as the part that requires they use evidence from both the novel and informational texts. Tell them that today they will be choosing which factors in survival they want to write about.
- Direct students’ attention to the Survival anchor chart. Explain that ideas that are starred have evidence in both informational texts and the novel. Today they need to choose one to three factors in survival that their poem will center on. At least one factor they choose must have a star.
- Think aloud about how you might select one, highlighting what is compelling, significant, and well-understood by you (the hypothetical writer). Refer to the Salva/Nya anchor chart as you think aloud, to show students how an author sometimes chooses a very specific moment and then builds out from there to a theme.
- For the modeling you do in this lesson, you may wish to use the example on the Two voice Poem: Gathering Evidence graphic organizer (teacher’s edition), or you may generate one of your own. In either case, plan to model the outer columns of the chart in Lesson 18 with the same factor you are modeling here in Lesson 17. Also, plan to write down your work as you model (or use a filled in graphic organizer) and leave it posted so students can refer to it as they work.
- Distribute the Two voice Poem: Gathering Evidence graphic organizer.
- Turn and talk:
* “Which factors do you want to focus on in your poem? Why?”
- Ask students to choose from one to three factors in survival they will focus on, and to write them in the middle column of the graphic organizer. Invite several students to share their choices and the reasons behind those choices. Help the class notice that writers often begin by selecting ideas that move, inspire, or intrigue them – the job of the piece of writing is to share not just the idea, but the feeling that those ideas gave the writer.