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Book Review
Author: Catharine Niuzzo Honaman


Time: 2 – 3 classes
Preparation Time: 30 minutes to read the lesson and to make arrangements to use the computer lab
Materials: Computer lab in which to write the papers


Abstract
Students will write a five paragraph theme that explains how the novel which they read in this unit effectively utilized various literary elements to portray the impact of a disease on a population. Each student will decide which three literary elements to write about because these best explored the impact of the disease on the time and culture examined in his or her book. This is the apply lesson. Students will write their five paragraph expository themes.


Objectives
Students will be able to:
1. Use correct grammar, spelling, and capitalization in their writing;
2. Connect information learned in history and science classes with the events described in the books that were read;
3. Write a clear and informative paper explaining how disease affected the community described in the books that were read.

National English Education Standards
Standard #1
Students read a wide range of print and non-print text to build an understanding of texts, of themselves, and of the cultures of the United States and the world, to acquire new information, to respond to the needs and demands of society and the workplace, and also for personal fulfillment. Among these texts are fiction and nonfiction, classic and contemporary works.

Arizona State Standards
READING
Strand 2: Concept 1: Elements of Literature

PO 1. Analyze the author’s use of literary elements:
- theme
- point of view
- characterization
- setting
- plot

Strand 2: Concept 2: Functional Text

PO 1. Describe the historical and cultural aspects found in cross-cultural works of literature.

WRITING
W-P3. Write an analysis of an author’s use of literary elements such as character, setting, theme, plot, figurative language, and point of view.

PO 1. Develop a thesis that states a position about the author’s use of literary elements.
PO 2. Support the thesis with relevant examples from the selection.
PO 3. Analyze the author’s use of literary elements (e.g., character, setting, theme)
PO 4. Organize the analysis with a clear beginning, middle, and ending.

WRITING
W-P1. Use transitional devices; varied sentence structures; the active voice; parallel structures; supporting details, phrases and clauses; and correct spelling, punctuation, capitalization, grammar, and usage to sharpen the focus and clarify the meaning of their writings.

PO 1. Use transitions where appropriate.
PO 2. Vary sentence structure.
PO 3. Use active voice as appropriate to purpose.
PO 4. Use parallel structure appropriately.
PO 5. Sharpen the focus and clarify the meaning of their writing through the appropriate use of:
- capitalization,
- standard grammar and usage,
- spelling (with the use of a dictionary/thesaurus),
- punctuation.

Teacher Background
It is important to know what is involved in writing a five paragraph expository theme. In order to effectively assess these themes, it is important to have an understanding of each of the books that the students are writing about.

Related and Resource Websites
http://its.leesummit.k12.mo.us/writing.htm (A website with information about expository writing)

 

 

Activity
1. In science class the students have been examining the biological mechanisms that give rise to disease. In history they have studied the human activities that help the contagion to spread. In English the focus has been on the emotional/spiritual cost to the human being infected and his/her community. Ask the students to think of the writer as a scientist of sorts who is revealing the human psyche through the tools of literary devices. These can dissect or magnify the human experience as deftly as any scalpel or microscope does the body.

2. The students will write a traditional five paragraph expository theme about the books that they have read. The purpose of the paper will be to show how the author deftly used any three literary elements (character, setting, theme, plot, figurative language, or point of view) to explore the impact of a disease on a culture, community, city, etc. In the paper they will:

  • Develop a thesis that states a position about the author’s use of literary elements.
  • Support the thesis with relevant examples from the selection.
  • Analyze the author’s use of literary elements (e.g., character, setting, theme)
  • Organize the analysis with a clear beginning, middle, and ending.

3. Their papers should also demonstrate their ability to use correct spelling, punctuation, capitalization, grammar, and usage in writing as well as effective transitions, varied sentence structure, parallel structure, and active voice.

4. Take a few minutes with the students after they have finished writing their papers to discuss which literary devices they wrote about. Did most students choose the same ones? How does writing about a book force us to look at it with a more critical eye and discover the cleverness of an author in creating his or her story, discover the uniqueness of the story or of a particular passage that we might otherwise just read once and gloss over? If analysis is done well can it be considered a part of the creative process, or even of an extension of the book?

Homework
None.

Embedded Assessment
The five paragraph paper can be assessed for the use of correct grammar, spelling, punctuation, and usage as well as the proficient use of effective transitions, varied sentence structure, parallel structure, and active voice. In terms of subject matter, the student should introduce his/her idea accurately in the first paragraph, and thoroughly explain three different literary devices.

 



PULSE is a project of the Community Outreach and Education Program of the Southwest Environmental Health Sciences Center and is funded by:


an
NIH/NCRR award #16260-01A1
The Community Outreach and Education Program is part of the Southwest Environmental Health Sciences Center: an NIEHS Award

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Supported by NIEHS grant # ES06694


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