This engaging and informative lesson helps students to infer and deduce the hidden meanings in the introduction section of Darren Shan’s ‘Cirque Du Freak.’ Students act as ‘Text Detectives’ reading between the lines to find out deeper meanings in the introduction, using this information to make predictions about what may happen in the text.
The lesson follows a step-by-step learning journey, in which children learn through:
- Understanding why individual subject content was chosen for the introduction (e.g. the fear that spiders can arouse in many people);
- Reading the introduction, and answering comprehension questions to demonstrate their understanding;
- Functioning as 'Text Detectives', inferring and deducing the hidden meanings about narrator and plot that are provided within the introduction;
- Using inferences from textual evidence to make insightful and evidence-based predictions about the story;
- Peer assessing each other's learning attempts;
- Whole lesson PowerPoint - colourful and comprehensive;
- Newspaper Article - 'The shape of fear - why spiders scare us so much;'
- Extract from 'Cirque Du Freak' - The Introduction;
- Text Detectives worksheet (and teacher model answer sheet);
- Comprehensive lesson plan.
There are also opportunities for group learning, speaking and listening, peer assessment, and whole class discussion. I originally used these resources with year 7 and 8 classes, however colleagues have used them for between years 4 and 9 with minimal adaptations.
All images are licensed for commercial use, and image rights are listed on the last page of the presentation.