By the time students arrive at high school, they have been dipping their toes in the "support your claims and interpretations" waters of literary analysis, but they are not necessarily well versed in it. They often believe that QUANTITY translates into QUALITY, so they pore over texts, digging for every possible passage that may support a particular perspective. As a result, they become mechanistic in their approach, casting a wide, yet shallow, net and pulling in plenty of “support” that’s nearly devoid of meaning.
This “Deep Dive” activity encourages students to slow down, dive deep into text, and manufacture meaning that they’ve examined vigorously. Such “plumbing the depths” results in qualitatively better choices when it comes to selecting text support for future analysis.
This is a deceptively simple 1-3 days exercise that emphasizes quality over quantity. The goal is to encourage students to manufacture meaning for a SHORT, yet POWERFUL text passage of their choice. For this activity, students should:
- Slow down
- Select one (1) powerful passage from any text
- Fill an entire page with questions, speculation, and possible interpretations for that passage (trying to replicate the attached model)
- Share their work (orally, with partners, or via in-class or online postings)
Teachers may share the attached model with students or create their own model to share.
The following 2-sided document provides a teacher model & a page for student work.