This set of differentiated writing activities (part of my Shades of Gray novel unit
) will guide students as they analyze theme in Carolyn Reeder's Reconstruction novel Shades of Gray. The first page is a graphic organizer asking students to find support in the novel (quotes, events, etc.) for each of two themes - the meaning of courage and the value of hard work. There is also a blank version that I use for more advanced students who can more easily locate their own themes.
The next activity guides students as they write a paragraph about the theme, discussing the three text references they found on the first worksheet. For the advanced students, there is an additional activity designed for students to plan an essay instead of just a paragraph. It includes guidance on writing a hook, thesis/topic sentence, three body paragraphs, and a conclusion.
You can choose the activity that best fits your class's needs, or you can differentiate within your classroom by putting students in groups and assigning different levels of work to teach the same skills. Alternately, you could begin with the paragraph and lead students into the essay.
I hope you and your students enjoy this tiered-instruction activity integrating literature and reading skills with writing and history!
**Teaching Shades of Gray? This resource is part of my Shades of Gray Novel Unit!
Buy the bundle and save 20%!
(Cover background from Lovin Lit)