Lesson Plan: The Adventures of Tom Sawyer

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StudySync Lesson Plan The Adventures of Tom Sawyer Objectives Time 1. Engage students in the plot, characters, themes, setting, and language of Mark Twain's The Adventures of Tom Sawyer so that they are
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StudySync Lesson Plan The Adventures of Tom Sawyer Objectives Time 1. Engage students in the plot, characters, themes, setting, and language of Mark Twain's The Adventures of Tom Sawyer so that they are prepared to discuss and write about the excerpt and/or the entire novel. 2. Practice and reinforce the following Grade 6 Common Core Standards for reading literature, writing, speaking, and listening, and language: READING: LITERATURE RL WRITING - W.6.1-2, 4-6 SPEAKING AND LISTENING - SL LANGUAGE - L minutes (with up to an additional 100 minutes of extension possibilities) Materials SyncTV Premium Lesson on Mark Twain's The Adventures of Tom Sawyer Overview This excerpt is a lively introduction into one of the main characters of the book, Tom Sawyer, and helps set the stage for the ensuing trouble for Tom and his friends. Readers are given a glimpse into the style of Mark Twain's writing as well as exposure to the language of the time period. Close examination of this excerpt will prepare students to read the entire novel, and to write thoughtful, informed, and textually-rooted responses, consistent with the ELA Common Core Standards for the middle school grades. Background (10 minutes) 1. Watch the Preview (SL.6.1-2). As a group, watch the video preview of the premium lesson. Use the following questions to spur discussion following the preview: a. Based on the images and language in the preview, when and where does the Page 1 story take place? b. What schema do you have (or need) for these images? What experiences can you use to help you understand and/or connect to the story's setting? c. Based on these images, what do you think the story will be about? What inferences can you make based on these images? Extension (additional 30 minutes) d. Write Creatively (W.6.3-6). According to the preview, Tom was hoping for a fun Saturday, but his Aunt Polly has work for him to do instead. Have students think of times when this has happened to them. They should write a narrative of one of these times, using descriptive details and other narrative writing traits and crafts (dialogue, sensory language, etc.). Students can complete the assignment as a quick write activity or go through the writing process of planning, revising, editing, and publishing. Be sure to have time for students to share their final writing pieces with the class. e. Translate (ELL). For English Language Learners, allow writing to be in their native language first, then translated into English. The English version might be in the form of a picture book for a lower grade level. Engaging the Text (110 minutes) 2. Read the Text (40 minutes) a. Read and Annotate (RL.6.2-6, 10). Read aloud the first paragraph of the The Adventures of Tom Sawyer excerpt and model note-taking strategies (use a projector or SmartBoard if possible). Ask students to read and annotate the rest of the text individually or in pairs. b. Discuss (SL.6.1-2). Have students get into small groups or pairs and briefly discuss the questions they had while reading. As a class, discuss the following: How did the images in the preview help you understand the text better? What questions did you have while reading? What were your impressions of Tom or the free boys? Extension (additional 30 minutes) c. Listen and Discuss (RL.6.7 and SL.6.1-2). As a class, listen to the audio reading of the text. Ask students to share how their understanding of the text changed after listening. What images came to mind? What words did the author use to develop the time period? d. Define (L.6.4-6). Have students work in pairs to define the key vocabulary from the preview and excerpt, using context clues. As a class, discuss the definitions of these words and any other words or phrases that remain unclear. e. Comprehend (RL.6.1-4). Have students complete the multiple-choice questions individually or in pairs. Collect papers or discuss answers as a class. 3. Watch SyncTV (20 minutes) a. Watch. Either watch the SyncTV discussion associated with The Adventures of Tom Sawyer as a class or ask students to watch it on their individual computers. Page 2 b. Focus (RL.6.1). In order to focus on how close reading skills can help determine meaning, highlight the portion of the SyncTV episode from 1:30-1:55 in which the student, Connor, offers his take on the excerpt's opening. Focus on how Connor uses Twain s hyperbole in the opening paragraph to set the stage for the Tom Sawyer hijinks that will follow. c. Focus (RL.6.2). After having watched the full episode, go back and have the class examine the portion from 3:38-5:38 in which the students analyze the differences between the words work and play, and how the text explores and plays with the distinctions between those two ideas. Have your students focus on the ways in which the characters use the text to develop arguments about the meanings of these words, and Tom Sawyer s ability to shift their definitions within this scene. d. Discuss (SL.6.1-6). After watching the model discussion, have a conversation with the class about why it was a good discussion. What did the students do to keep the discussion going? How did the students respond to each other? How did they use the text to make valid points? Next, divide students into small groups (3-4 students). Move around the room monitoring the groups as students follow the SyncTV episode as a model to discuss some of the following questions: i. Do you agree with the narrator's definitions of work and play? Give examples to support your opinion. ii. What did Tom learn by the end of the day? How do you think this will impact his decisions in the future? iii. Another definition of whitewash is to conceal or gloss over (a wrongdoing, for example). Can this definition also apply to the text? iv. What do you think this incident says about Tom's character? What if the stakes were higher, like the students discussed in the SyncTV episode? Would that change your opinion of Tom? v. Who do you think was to blame for the incident: Tom for tricking the free boys into painting the fence for him, or the free boys for allowing themselves to get tricked? vi. To whom can you better relate: Tom or Ben? Have you ever tricked someone into doing something for you, or been tricked into doing something you didn't really want to do? Compare your personal experiences with those of Tom and Ben in this excerpt. Extension (additional 20 minutes) e. Evaluate (SL.6.1-3). Watch the SyncTV episode again (as a whole class if possible). Before watching, assign each of your students one of the four students in the episode to follow. Have your students keep a running list of points that each student makes. Ask students to pay close attention to how (e.g. citing textual evidence, using personal examples) the students in the episode prove their points. When the episode has finished, discuss each of the characters and evaluate the quality of their arguments. What makes some arguments stronger than others? What are some of the best and worst points made about the text? How and why? 4. Think (10 minutes) a. Respond (W.6,1-2, 4, 6, 9). Ask students to read the Think questions, watch the corresponding video clips, and respond to the questions, either in class or for Page 3 homework. 5. Write (40 minutes) a. Discuss (SL.6.1). Whether you're assigning the writing portion of the lesson as homework or as an in-class writing assignment, read the prompt as a group, or have students read it individually, and then solicit questions regarding the prompt or the assignment expectations. Whichever prompt you have chosen, make sure you are clear about the assignment expectations and the rubric by which you and the other students will be evaluating them. b. Organize (RL and W.6.1-2, 5). Ask students to go back and annotate the text with the prompt in mind. They should be organizing their thoughts and the points they'll address in their writing as they make annotations. If you've worked on outlining or other organizational tools for writing, this is a good place to apply them. c. Write (W.6.1-2, 4-6, 9-10). Have students go through the writing process of planning, revising, editing, and publishing their writing responses. d. Review (W.6.4-6). Use the StudySync Review feature to have students complete one to two evaluations of their peers' work based on your chosen review rubric. Have the students look at the peer evaluations of their own writing. In pairs, ask the students to discuss briefly the peer evaluations. Suggested questions: What might you do differently in a revision? How might you strengthen the writing and the ideas? Extension (additional 20 minutes) e. Self-Assess (W.6.4-6). Use the StudySync assignment creation tool to create a Writing assignment that asks students to address the following prompt: i. Reread your essay and the reviews of your essay on The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. After reading these reviews, what do you believe were the biggest strengths of your essay? What could you do better next time? If you were to go back and write this essay again, what would you change about your writing process? How has writing this essay made you a better writer? Page 4 SUPPLEMENTARY MATERIALS Key Vocabulary 1. whitewash (v.) - to paint or coat with whitewash (a mixture of lime and water, often with whiting added, used to whiten walls, fences, or other structures). 2. straitened (v.) - to restrict in range, extent, amount. 3. alacrity (n.) - cheerful readiness, promptness, or willingness. Liveliness. 4. jeer (v.) - to shout derisively at; taunt. 5. covet (v.) - to wish for, especially eagerly. Reading Comprehension Questions 1. Use context clues to determine the meaning of the word straitened in the first paragraph. a. treasures b. junk c. organized d. insignificant 2. Why did Tom start to let Ben take over the whitewashing but then change his mind? a. he was worried his Aunt Polly would get mad b. to make Ben think it was an honor to do the whitewashing c. Tom has a hard time making decisions d. he was hoping Ben would give him something in return for letting him do the whitewashing 3. What was Ben doing when he entered the story? a. pretending to be a steamboat and captain b. going down to the river c. teasing Tom d. looking for work 4. Which of these activities would be considered play based on the definition in the text? a. taking a math test b. attending a weekly karate class c. volunteering at an animal shelter d. getting paid to babysit 5. When Ben stops nibbling his apple and starts watching Tom's every move, it tells the reader that: a. he is becoming more and more interested in the whitewashing b. he is getting bored c. his idea of work is changing d. both a and c 6. Why did someone give Tom four pieces of an orange peel? a. There was nowhere to throw them away. b. They were considered treasure. c. Tom traded them for a fragment of chalk. d. The boy didn't have anything else to give Tom. Page 5 7. Why did Tom stop getting boys to whitewash the fence for him? a. He started to feel bad for tricking his friends. b. No more boys came by. c. His Aunt Polly got mad and made him stop. d. He ran out of paint. 8. According to the text, what does Tom learn by the end of the day? a. He is good at tricking the boys in the village. b. The boys in the village are not smart. c. He will never have to work again. d. People want things that are hard to get. 9. The author compares Tom to a: a. retired artist b. wealthy English gentleman c. great and wise philosopher d. captain on a steamboat 10. Why did Tom not want to whitewash the fence? a. He knew his arm would get tired. b. He wasn't getting paid to do it. c. He wanted to go swimming instead. d. Because he had to. Answer Key 1. D 2. B 3. A 4. C 5. D 6. B 7. D 8. D 9. A 10. D Page 6 Further Assignments 1. Ask students to research the life of Mark Twain and determine how his life impacted his writing in The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. Infer what was important to Mark Twain and explain how he conveys this through his writing. (RI.6.9 and W.6.7) 2. After reading the book, ask students to determine the overall themes of the book and how the excerpt contributed to these themes. (W.6.5) 3. Have students compare Tom Sawyer to another strong character from a previous book. How do the respective authors develop their characters through dialogue and actions? Cite specific examples from each book. (RL.6.1-4) 4. Ask students to think about what kind of job or career would be ideal for Tom Sawyer. Have students pair up and act out a scene in which Tom is interviewing for a job position. (SL.6.4-6) 5. Have students choose another passage from the book and rewrite it for the present day, in the form of a poem or screenplay. Give students the opportunity to share their writing with the class. (W.6.4, 10) 6. Place students into pairs and have them write a short scene in which Ben and the other boys get their revenge on Tom Sawyer. Ask students to write the scene with mostly dialogue and minimal description. After the students have written these scenes, have them pair up and have the groups act them out in front of the class. (ELL) Page 7
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