Saturday, November 17, 2007


Follow The Story Arc

A Lesson Plan 11/19/07

Course: English Language Arts 8, F107-15
School: San Fernando Middle School
Primary Educator: Stephen Hill
Secondary Educator: Theresa Atkinson
Classroom Location: H8
Grade Level: 8
Content area: English 8
Subject matter: Narrative -LAUSD Periodic Assessment Unit #1
Unit of Study: Students will be able to understand the language conventions, narrative elements, and vocabulary of a selection of short fiction, “A Retrieved Reformation”, by O. Henry (Prentice Hall, 2005)


1. Comprehend and analyze the literature selection, focusing on identifying five elements of plot, including exposition, rising action, climax, falling action, and resolution and be able to label each element on a story arc diagram.
2. Learn new vocabulary, including words formed by adding the suffixes -tion, -sion, or –ion to infinitive verb forms (e.g. action, resolution, exposition, reformation)
3. Understand the organization and structure of a common summative assessment – the multiple-choice test.

Class Information
Age range of students: 12-14
Number of male students: 14
Number of female students: 16
Total number of students: 30

Student Characteristics

Linguistic Background

Thirty students are of Hispanic or mixed Hispanic origin. English Language Skills are categorized as Limited English Proficient or Intermediate English Proficient. Most students are members of households in which Spanish is spoken and written as the primary language.

Students generally entered LAUSD in elementary school as English Learners and were “reclassified” for general language arts classes prior to their entering eighth grade.

Literacy and Academic Achievement Indicators

Student Grade Equivalent Reading Levels (STAR, tested 11/06/07, GE 8.3) range from GE 1.3 to GE 7.7, indicating that all students read far below to below grade equivalency on narrative texts.

Additionally, eight of the thirty students in the class have active Individualized Educational Plans (IEP) and are classified as Resource (RSP). Student disabilities include other health impairments, physical impairments (sight, hearing), auditory processing disabilities, autism, and emotional disabilities.

Recent Reported Student Grades (11/06/07)

Average Grade: C
Average Percentage: 70.3
Standard Deviation: 16.4
Maximum percentage: 92.4
Minimum Percentage: 32.4
Total Failing Grades: 7

California Language Arts Content Standards Addressed

1.0 Word Analysis, Fluency, and Systematic Vocabulary Development
Students use their knowledge of word origins and word relationships, as well as historical and literary context clues, to determine the meaning of specialized vocabulary and to understand the precise meaning of grade-level-appropriate words.

Vocabulary and Concept Development
1.2 Understand the most important points in the history of English language and use common word origins to determine the historical influences on English word meanings.

1.3 Use word meanings within the appropriate context and show ability to verify those meanings by definition, restatement, example, comparison, or contrast.

3.0 Literary Response and Analysis
Students read and respond to historically or culturally significant works of literature that reflect and enhance their studies of history and social science.

Narrative Analysis of Grade-Level-Appropriate Text
3.2 Evaluate the structural elements of the plot (e.g., subplots, parallel episodes, climax), the plot's development, and the way in which conflicts are (or are not) addressed and resolved.

3.6 Identify significant literary devices (e.g., metaphor, symbolism, dialect, irony) that define a writer's style and use those elements to interpret the work.

1.0 Written and Oral English Language Conventions

Sentence Structure
1.1 Use correct and varied sentence types and sentence openings to present a lively and effective personal style.

1.2 Identify and use parallelism, including similar grammatical forms, in all written discourse to present items in a series and items juxtaposed for emphasis.

1.3 Use subordination, coordination, apposition, and other devices to indicate clearly the relationship between ideas.

1.4 Edit written manuscripts to ensure that correct grammar is used.

Punctuation and Capitalization
1.5 Use correct punctuation and capitalization.


1.6 Use correct spelling conventions

Instructional Materials

White board, markers, overhead and transparencies, pens, teacher edition of student notebook, student notebook, black, blue and red student pens, “A Retrieved Reformation” worksheet and text.

Instructional Plan

The agenda for the day is written of the whiteboard, front left. Students are familiar with classroom procedures; upon entering, students find their seat, and consult the agenda for information regarding the warm-up activity. Students also note and record the assigned homework. Assignments are written in agenda (“Binder Reminder”)

As students enter, they will be instructed to copy the homework.

Next, I will review that we are review the elements of plot and should be able to complete a story arc diagram. Students will view an unlabeled diagram of a on the overhead screen.

Today’s warm up will involve a game in which all students answer questions related to the lesson. Today, students will answer questions about the reading selection, plot elements, and vocabulary. Students all stand, answer questions when called upon randomly, and are seated only if question is answered correctly. Game will conclude after five minutes, or no student remains standing, whatever is first.

Next, students will be asked to “take out” their homework assignment from this past weekend. The assignment was to create a fifteen question multiple choice quiz. The quiz must include six questions related to the six assigned vocabulary words, and nine questions related to elements of the plot of “A Retrieved Reformation”.

Vocabulary: assiduously, virtuous, retribution, unobtrusively, simultaneously, anguish

Students will be given a ten minutes to review his/her quiz, check to see if the requirements are met, and proofread and edit as necessary. Teachers will walk around the room, checking for completion and answering individual questions.

Students will be paired in one of two groups – those who have completed a quiz and those who have not. Students in the latter group will work on completing the homework assignment under the supervision of Theresa Atkinson.

Students in the former group will be instructed to swap tests with each pair and completed the quiz. Upon completing each pair, students will then score the test each created.

Upon completion, all students will engage in a group discussion about the learning objectives. Individual concerns about the administration of the tests will also be discussed, and students will be given the opportunity to select the final grade they receive on the assignment. Student work is then collected.

Finally, the homework assignment will be discussed. Students are required to read pages 94-98 in their Literature textbook, and take notes on the information about the writing process in Cornell Notes format. Students will be required to write a minimum of three relevant questions and answers.

Students will use their new notebooks. I will re-teach the process of setting up the notebook. Whole class will set up first page in notebook, table of contents, number pages and title the notebook. Demonstrate with a Teacher Edition that I create.

11/19/07 Cornell Notes from Literature pp. 94 – 98 (Notebook) page 1

I explain the process to students as I show them the pages in the textbook, point out the titles and subtitles, and model Cornell Notes by modeling the question and answer format and writing a summary (What are the steps of the writing process?)

Connect to Future Instruction

Homework assignment will be a bridge to new periodic assessment unit on expository texts and the organizational structures and elements of expository writing. Students will practice existing note-taking skills, and will be given an introduction to the writing process that will follow to complete the cumulative assessments – a written research report and passing the LAUSD.


Accommodations will include allowing resource students additional time to create and complete the quiz. Secondary teacher provides individualized instructional support.

Some students may work in a small group, or may be paired with a higher achieving student.

Students are given printed copies of the lesson plan if required.

Failing or at-risk students (students who have a current grade average of 69% or less, may take a teacher generated make-up quiz at a weekly lunch period study hall.


RSP students may create a ten question multiple choice test with three vocabulary words.

1 comment:

Steve Hill said...

what a load of crap. Nobody reads this stuff