This unit contains over thirty pages of daily lesson activities individually reviewing Steinbeck’s entire novella, all six chapters of his work. Most chapters are broken down into two parts: “1st half” and 2nd half”. Thus, this approach allows each chapter to be taught independently over two days.
I adhere to the basic principal that each lesson should have a beginning, middle and an end. Keeping with this simple philosophy, each daily lesson begins with a “focus and review” assignment to generate discussion on the previous day’s material and orientate the students for the upcoming lesson. Then, the heart of each lesson centers on the Common Core State Standards for reading and writing. Through a variety of designs, the graphic organizers, worksheets, chart fill-ins support close reading techniques as the students will be required to cite evidence from the text to support their answers and opinions. All lessons conclude with a “closure” activity which helps the students to review the key concepts discussed during the lesson and to offer a personal opinion about the material learned.
At times, I bring up the lessons on a smart-board or LCD projector and let the students copy a sketch of the daily chart. Other times, with the more intricate designs, I want to photocopy the worksheet for the students to write directly on the assignment. With this in mind, I tried to maintain a balance between the visual appeal of each organizer and the practicality of making photocopies for any lesson. Since it’s a word document, you can adjust colors and fonts to suit your needs.
As with most graphic organizers or handouts, I have used these lessons in a variety of learning environments including: group work, partner or neighbor work or individual practice. Some lessons are extensive and may require more than one period or can be completed for homework. Each lesson also acts as a great quiz to assess any student’s comprehension for a particular chapter of the text.