Analyzing Text Teacher Resources
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Readers of Nineteen Eighty-Four engage in a close reading exercise that directs their focus to the key details Orwell provides in the opening paragraphs to introduce his dystopian society. The included worksheeet is divided into three columns. The first contains the text, the second is for definitions of third tier vocabulary words, and the final column provides space for readers to paraphrase the text, ask questions about the text, and record observations. A detailed teaching guide is included.
What does a text say? What does it do? Good readers use these questions to help them understand the structure of a problem/solution text. Model this approach by putting a copy of the included article on an overhead (or interactive white board). After completing a think-aloud in front of the class, engage learners in a guided practice activity. For independent practice, groups identify a problem and discuss two possible solutions before drafting their own problem/solution essay.
Let the synthesizing begin as your learners trace and explore thematic ideas through informational and literary texts that concern Ramses II and the fall of Saddam Hussein. Learners begin by examining an encyclopedia article concerning Ramses and progress to “Ozymandias” by Shelly, and an article from National Geographic of the same topic but of a different tone. Readers compare the three texts and finalize the persona of Ramses. They also develop a theme from the three texts. Learners connect the themes through a photograph of the fall of Saddam Hussein’s statue in a Bagdad city square. From that, they analyze hubris of the leaders. Everyone in the class is challenged with argument and synthesis essays.
How do you read non-fiction, informational text? How do you recognize the rhetorical devices a writer is using? How do you determine the tone of such a document? Lincoln’s First Inaugural Address provides a perfect vehicle for learners to develop and practice these necessary skills. The richly detailed resource packet provides everything you need, from the complete text of the speech to fill-in-the-blank sentence templates, from guided questions and graphic organizers to a writing assignment. A great way to prepare learners for challenging text and for document-based exams.
Students create a poem that expresses the physical and emotional turmoil of living through the Dust Bowl. In this Out of the Dust lesson, students research facts about the time period and discuss the cause-effect patterns associated with that difficult time. Students compose a poem and a written response based on their research and discussion.
Eighth graders discover that literature can be a great way to gather information about the past. Using various types of text, they research its historical data and determine if it is correct. They write two papers to respond to the literature they have read to end the lesson.
"The best-laid schemes o'mice an' men/Gang aft agley." Snowball groups discuss Robert Burns' "To a Mouse" as part of their study of the first two chapters of Steinbeck's novel. Included with the resource, are links to sites that examine the Great Depression, before and after reading activities, and group improvisation projects.
Through this three-day lesson, learners will develop an understanding of several elements of narration such as plot, characterization, setting, point of view, and theme. Reading several fiction texts and taking notes using dialectical journaling, your class will make analytical observations, comparisons, and ask textual questions. Using the data collected, they will present their findings in an analysis. Home connections, extensions, and differentiation activities included.
Students analyze primary documents and images. Students organize and evaluate the causes and results of the Omaha race riot of 1919. Students study and recognize key personalities involved. Students relate history to certain quotes diagrammed on the board. Students encounter graphic organizers.
Eleventh graders brainstorm controversial themes of Spanish-speaking countries. They read articles written in Spanish. They discuss the articles, practicing their Spanish speaking skills. Students conduct research and design a presentation about one of the themes from above.
Enhance your American literature unit with this resource, in which readers access the Nebraska Studies website and read about "Railroads and Settlement." They search for a photograph of some aspect of the railroad from the Prairie Settlement, Nebraska Photographs and Letters. Additionally, they complete a worksheet and participate in class discussions of the topic.
Students discover how the railroads contributed to the interdependence between farms and towns. Using the railroads, they describe the effect of them on western settlement and the relationship between their location and the availability of resources and markets. They discuss the arrival of the railroads to an area and how it helped to develop the region's farming industry.
The courage of Las Mariposas, the Mirabal sisters, is the focus of a series of activities designed to accompany a reading of In the Time of the Butterflies that ask readers to consider what it means to be courageous. Beautifully crafted and richly detailed, the packet also includes links to the text of The Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women and Minou Tavarez Mirabal’s speech.
Eighth graders identify reasons why settlers bought land from the railroad and not a Homestead grant. Using that information, they compare and contrast the types of land given in each situation. They discuss the reasons why given families chose the community they did to live in.
“. . . one man in his time plays many parts,/His acts being seven ages.” Jaques famous speech from Act II, scene vii of As you Like It sets the stage for an examination of the roles people play. Class members not only consider the roles played and masks worn by various characters in Shakespeare’s plays, but are also encouraged to examine their own. A variety of activities are included to enable learners to make text-to-self and text-to-world connections. “And so (we) play (our) part.”
Is journalism more or less reliable with the influx of Internet sources? Learners investigate the issues of freedom of speech, journalistic ethics, and social responsibility in the age of Twitter and Facebook. After examining the Professional Journalists Code of Ethics, and the First Amendment in the Bill of Rights, class members engage in socratic seminars and develop speeches in which they present their views on the responsibilities of today’s journalists.
Sputnik was one of the greatest scientific advancements of the 1950s, and this reading lesson does it justice. Pupils start off with pre-reading questions and a video. They then read an excerpt from an article, which is accompanied by vocabulary, short-answer questions, and other close reading tasks. Small groups work on the questions together and all pupils must decide on the author's purpose. Also included is a set of writing assignment suggestions, which could use more detail.
Use the ideas here for a Valentine's Day activity (or anytime you study sonnets) with your 11th graders. Demonstrate how to analyze a love poem by conducting a think aloud about Shakespeare's Sonnet 29. Then small groups analyze Sonnet 130 by taking turns thinking aloud about specified couplets or quatrains while groupmates take notes. Finally, groups conduct a similar analysis of a romantic greeting card and compare its message to that of the sonnet. Two student handouts are included.
After modeling how to write responses to literature that provide an interpretation, recognize ambiguities, nuances, and complexities, class groups are presented with short stories and/or art transparencies and asked to craft their own analysis. Individuals then draft, revise, and polish an essay that reflects an understanding of a work.
Using informational text to make cross cultural comparisons is a great way to build a global understanding and comparative analysis skills. With several handy worksheets and a Venn diagram the class will read to make cross textual comparisons about specific topics related to all cultures. They'll read several texts and make comparisons about religion, food, and society.