Completely rewritten and expanded July 2011
This is a complete, loosely-structured novel unit, with 89 pages of handouts and activities. There are no strict schedules or pacing guides here-though the quizzes, study guides, the concluding essay, the Socratic seminar, and the chapter quizzes and study guides would logically dictate the order of lesson delivery. You may find that you skip some activities, alter some activities and documents, and change the order of delivery year by year-based on your scheduling, teaching style, and type of students.
Study Guides: There are sixteen student Study Guides for The Joy Luck Club. Each study guide is one to two pages in length, and includes a section of easy, comprehension-level questions and then a more thought-provoking set of analysis questions. The analysis questions will, for the most part, require some time, some thought, and some short, essay-style answers. There are also sixteen quizzes and discussion prompt documents that you can use as answer keys for the study guides. (The study guides and the quizzes are reformatted versions of the same documents to be used in different ways and settings.)
These Study Guides make for great homework assignments, great in-class group assignments, great individual class-time assignments, or great pre-discussion assignments. I typically have students complete these at home, and then use the analysis prompts to guide us through an in-class discussion-this way, the students have worked over the ideas and have something to say.
Here you'll also find sixteen combination chapter Quizzes and Discussion Prompts: these sets of quiz and discussion prompts are to be used verbally. There are, of course, many ways to use such prompts, but for the record, here's how I use them. I assign reading, either in class or as homework. At the start of the next day's period, I verbally recite the quiz questions-or at least three of them. Students write their answers on binder paper. Then, students trade papers and I recite the answers. There are sometimes negotiations and debates about the answers and sometimes I allow for a student to add something to the answer key. Then, I read the discussion prompts to the students-all at once, so they can process them for a few moments. Finally, we proceed through the questions one-by-one. Sometimes I skip questions; sometimes I add questions. Go ahead and alter things to suit your needs. The purpose of the quiz questions is to assess the level of student reading and student comprehension. And, let's be honest, to make students accountable for the reading assignments. I want to be clear: the quiz questions are not analytical, but the discussion prompts are. The quiz questions have the answers written immediately under the questions. Again, this is a verbal quiz. If you don't like verbal quizzes, use the study guides instead-see above.
Essay assignments. There are several essay prompts in this unit, as well as a grading rubric. Choose the ones you like, or use them as starting points to brainstorm your own prompts.
Group activities are to be done in your own style. I usually put students into groups of 3 and then collect one written assignment for the group, giving all members of the group a shared grade.
Introductory research is usually a 24-hour assignment in which students use the internet or library to find information that will be relevant to the novel or play. This is a way to establish schema, or background knowledge about the unit.
Seminar preparation/questions. When we have a seminar (in which students sit in a circle and discuss the book with very little input from the teacher), I typically pass out questions for students to sketch out their responses. This allows students to come prepared to the seminar, and allows shy students to participate early in the discussion with their prepared response. I grade these by printing out a class roster and then putting a check next to a student's name each time they contribute thoughtfully.
Challenge Statements: these are statements, sometimes correct, sometimes incorrect, and sometimes ambiguous. Put students into groups and have each group, on a sheet of paper, respond to each of the statements. They are to agree or disagree with each statement and then support their agreement or disagreement with a quote from the text. This requires them to really consider the text, literally and metaphorically.
Journal prompts and quick writes (QW): Just what it sounds like, these are short writing prompts that work nicely before a discussion.
Finally, as the table of contents suggests, there are many, many other assignments that an instructor may use, alter, augment, or skip. The unit is designed to revolve around either the Study Guides or the Combination Quizzes and Discussion Prompts (or a combination of both), and to terminate in a Seminar, and/or culminating essay, and/or final exam. Along the way an instructor will choose from the additional activities and lessons so as to end with a unit that suits the instructor's style, schedule, and students.
This is a complete, loosely-structured unit. Rather than a day-by-day schedule, you will find a collection of materials that you may use in any sequence. You will likely skip some activities, alter some activities and documents (these are writable Word documents), and change the order of delivery year by year-based on your scheduling, style, and type of students.
If you are starting a new book and don't yet have your own quizzes and activities, this will be a great asset to you. Over time you will probably want to add more lessons and quizzes to the unit.
Table of Contents
Introductory Research Assignment 3
Introductory Research Assignment Option Two 4
Study Guides 5-22
Quizzes and Discussion Prompts 23-46
In-Class Writing: Journal Entries, Quick Writes 47-49
Essay Prompts and Assignment Handouts 50-53
Essay Rubric 54
Challenge Statements 55-56
Biography Paragraphs 57
Archetype Activity One 58
Archetype Activity Two 60
Characterization and Motivation 61
Seminar Prompts 63
Materials for Any Literature Unit 65
Multimedia Project: Common-Core Aligned 65
Archetypes Activity 67
Close Analysis Activity Common-Core Aligned 68
Close Analysis Lecture Rubric 69
Metacognitive Preview 70
Reading Quiz Makeup 71
Reading Journal Prompts 73
The Post Film Essay 74
Thematic Flowchart 75
Rubric for Thematic Flowchart 76
Cooperative Essay Assignment 77
Cooperative Essay: Group Rating 78
Biography paragraphs 79
Group Hunt: Common Core Standards 80
Book Notes 82
Poetic Analysis 83
Vocabulary Activity 85
The Book Review Essay 87
Process essay prompts 88
The book Summary 89