The main objective of the three activities that compose this product, "Literature Analysis Activities, Dancing Through December," is for students to have fun showing their depth of understanding of the elements of literature while teachers retain their sanity during this month of emotional highs and lows. Although I offer time-frame suggestions with each activity, I keep them general. Teachers should adapt this project to meet their needs and to address the abilities and skill levels of their students.
Teacher Notes -
When: This activity should be introduced in the beginning of December.
Why: Students will flesh out characters and plots from their reading by focusing on the details the authors present in the stories. This will show their understanding of the elements of literature as well as their analytic and critical-thinking skills.
• Separate Teacher Notes are included with each activity.
• Introduce students to project by handing out the activity.
• Review the directions for the three activities and the expectations for completion.
• Be sure to discuss any of the Teacher Notes that add clarity and details for each project.
• Explain the allotted time to complete the activity.
• Save time for students to share their responses. By the time they finish the third activity, all students should have shared one of their writings once.
• NOTE - for Activity 3: "Musically Speaking," students may change the names of any persons, places and things to fit the lyrics that their character would choose.
Example: Katniss Everdeen might sing the following in her version of the Twelve Days of Christmas which she calls, The Twelve Days of the Hunger Games:
“On the first day of the Hunger Games practice, Peeta gave to me,
A bow and arrow made from a District 11 ash tree.”
ACTIVITIES with partial Teacher Notes
Activity One: "Pairing Up"
Teachers pair up students, with each one assuming the persona of a character from the book. Then they give each pair a slip of paper, and assign them to choose an Inciting Moment, Rising Action, Climax, Falling Action/Denouement, and Resolution, and then detail /event from the story and write their choice on the slip of paper. Next, they write a dialogue with each student writing from the point of view of his/her character by passing the worksheet back and forth after each response. The single student must write a monologue from the point of view of his/her assigned character.
During their discussions, the students must reveal their character’s personality by interpreting his/her feelings, actions and reactions.
Activity Two: "Letters…We Get Letters"
Students will write a letter to one of the characters from the story that they are studying discussing a decision he/she made. They must take a stance where they agree or disagree with the decision made by the character regarding a specific incident in the piece.
After they finish the letter, they must adopt the persona of the character and respond to the student’s letter in the point of view of their character.
Activity 3: "Musically Speaking"
Students will choose one of the songs in this packet, and revise the lyrics to fit one of the characters from the story that they are currently studying, or have already read for class. Teachers may
• make this an individual writing assignment, or
• make this a paired assignment.
• allow students to choose their character from a current story that they are studying or from one they read since the beginning of the school year, or that they have already read for class, or
• select characters from the story that they are studying or have already read for class, and assign each student one of these characters.
Once each student has his/her character, he/she chooses one of the songs on the activity sheet and revises it to show his/her character’s choices and thoughts. Students will select specific details mentioned in the story or those that they inferred from reading this piece.
Song Choices -
My Favorite Things Lyrics
12 Days of Christmas Lyrics
Over the River and Through the Woods
NOTE_ because these songs do mention Christmas, teachers should follow the dictates of their school districts as well as their students' feelings and change the mention of this holiday to "Winter" or a name that suites the book where their character exists. For example, if I were writing from Katniss Everdeen's point of view,or if my beliefs didn't include Christmas, I would change the name of The 12 days of Christmas to The 12 Days of the Hunger Games.
Whether your students complete one of these activities or the whole trio, they will be strengthening their skills, showing their understanding of their reading, and keeping their excitement about the coming vacation to a simmer instead of a rolling boil.
You might also enjoy
Comprehension & Writing Activity: Seasonal Similes and Mouth-Watering Metaphors
December Character Comprehension Project: Winter Wonders
Whatever you choose, I hope that you
Enjoy a Teach It Now Day Every Day.
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