Lesson Plan : Reader Response Journal

Teacher Name:
 Mrs. Paupore
Grade:
 Grade 7-8
Subject:
 Literature Activities

Topic:
 The Watsons Go to Birmingham-1963 by Christopher Paul Curtis
Content:
 discrimination,racism,prejudice, friendship, family, grief, humor, and personal growth
Goals:
 To gain insight and empathy to many various contents in the book, but especially regarding racism, prejudice, and discrimination. This will be read during February, Black history month.
Objectives:
 Participating in the sharing activities during class, level of understanding and gaining of insight to reading materials through the written journals.
Materials:
 The Watsons Go to Birmingham-1963 by Christopher Paul Curtis Chapter Paper with response ideas and room for writing.
Introduction:
 Introduce the students to the book. I am excited about the book because it is funny and will have them laughing out loud, but also has a lot of depth to it. Explain that for Black History Month, we will be reading this because it took place at a dark but transitional time during American black history. There are also many other lessons to be learned from this book such as friendship, family, discrimination, grief and personal growth.
Development:
 Share with the students that I will be giving them a handout after each chapter is read that will have suggestions for things to think about, but these are not required responses. I want them to respond authentically. They can use poetry, quotes, straight talk (giving their two-cents to a character), judging the actions and responses of characters, and relating with personal experiences. They can write in the form of a diary, letter, poem, or simply free writing. I will prepare an example, with my own response, and let the class see it.
Practice:
 The students will be given the paper, with extra paper available if necessary. They will have 10 minutes to write their responses.
Accommodations:
 Separate in to groups of 3-4 students who will share with each other and share with class. Have each student share a thought with the class. This helps gain different perspectives and promotes conversation. If the student has something they are not comfortable sharing, it is optional. They may also share it with me in person, if they choose.
Checking For Understanding:
 See that students are responding emotionally to the text and participating. Read and comment on their written papers.
Closure:
 Have the students write a summary of their response to the entire book and how it has changed them in any way. Put all of the papers together to be made into a journal for the students to keep.
Evaluation:
 Student responds on an emotional level, rather than critiquing their like or dislike of the book. Student displays depth, empathy, and growth through responses. Would they react differently to a situation today than they would have before reading this? Do they regret any past actions? Are they passionate about any of the issues?

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