So Big is an exciting novel of give and take, written by Edna Ferber. It is considered a “classic,” meaning that it is among a group of novels that set a standard for writing.
Being able to read and discuss a book is a skill students need to practice before entering college-level study; and although some students may feel comfortable orally explaining their thoughts regarding a novel, many are daunted by the challenge of putting those thoughts into writing.
This set of assignments blends writing prompts from the text with elements of writing such as paragraph types, tone, and comparison/contrast. The possibilities for creativity are huge. The assignments are organized to coincide with the chapters in the book.
In these lessons, students will be able to learn or review the three types of paragraphs, the 5-page essay, tone (mood), persuasive writing, character building, comparison and contrast, and complete assignments that practice what they learn.
The assignments are specific to book chapters and were written to be used in this order:
Chapters 1 – 4: Learn/review three basic types of paragraphs; write an essay using descriptive paragraphs.
Chapters 5 – 8: Learn/review author’s tone; write a 5-paragraph essay and choose a title thoughtfully.
Chapters 9 – 12: Learn/review persuasive writing; write a paragraph and make a convincing argument.
Chapters 13 – 16: Learn/review character building; use the traits from a character in the novel to create a new character and write a short story using that character.
Chapters 17 – 21: Learn/review comparison and contrast; apply these principles to two characters from the book and then show how their characteristics caused conflict and resolution within the plot of So Big. (5-paragraph essay)
Skills Assessed: reading comprehension, creative writing, paragraph writing, essay writing, short story writing.