Lesson Title: Poisonwood Bible Analysis
Grade/Age Level: 11th and 12th Grade
Subject Area: English
Time allotted for the lesson: Two weeks for actual analysis, four weeks (including reading)
In this lesson, the learners will be dissecting the characters and the paths they have chosen during their presentation by Barbara Kingsolver in the novel.
State Curriculum Standards met in this lesson:
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.11-12.9 Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.11-12.2 Determine two or more themes or central ideas of a text and analyze their development over the course of the text, including how they interact and build on one another to produce a complex account; provide an objective summary of the text.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.11-12.5 Make strategic use of digital media (e.g., textual, graphical, audio, visual, and interactive elements) in presentations to enhance understanding of findings, reasoning, and evidence and to add interest.
Instructional Objectives (SWBAT+ Student will be able to):
- Examine character based on character traits and evidence from the points of view presented in the novel.
- Analyze/hypothesize character based on a flow chart that includes a divulging path
- Use Excel to create a character timeline as a visual examination of change and/or growth.
- Utilize an Excel checklist to put together a character essay.
Lesson Set: Students will read Barbara Kingsolver’s novel Poisonwood Bible
Techniques and activities:
See next pages for full lesson approach with screen shots of artifacts.
Poisonwood Bible EXCEL/Google Spreadsheet Assignment
Students will be engaged in making a series of visual analysis pieces to help them analyze and prepare for an assessment of Barbara Kingsolver’s novel Poisonwood Bible. Students are to use Microsoft Excel OR Google Spreadsheet for all, with one exception, the timeline, though it is recommended they use it as well!
Student Model: Enders game student example (thanks to Jack Walker, LCS)
Google Docs Template adapted for the flowchart: Google Tyler Flowchart Template
(Artifact links: characterlist_template characterlist enders game student example (thanks to Jack Walker, LCS) PWBflowchart (template) Tyler Essay Packing List (All of these are reconstructed/reconfigured template approaches based on existing models)
There are five pieces to this assessment:
1) The characterlist_template (student model illustrated below)
Once the character list is complete, find six to eight pieces of evidence (with MLA page citation) and mark them in the appropriate box. Students do not have to write down the quote, but should put at least three words as a marker followed by the page number.
Example: Displaced: “We aimed for no more…” (10).
3) Flowchart Analysis: Students are to pick two characters and create a character flow chart. They should also look for two places where a different choice might have made a significant change in their lives, good or bad.
The following is a model using F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby.
4) Create a story timeline: Include at least fifteen (15) events, making sure you have the final event of the book covered. You may go back past 1959 and include other parts of the Price family timeline before the start of the story, but you must have 15 events. Include at least three pieces of actual historic events (especially Lumunba) in your timeline. The timeline can be done in an optional program but it should still look nice.
The model is a framework and is not complete:
5) Essay/Reading Journal Rubric “Packing List”
Students will use the packing list to self-assess their journals and the drafts of their essay. They can also amend the rubric to add on to any added approaches to the journal and/or essay. For example, stronger AP students may be looking at deeper contexts.
Adaptations for special learners:
Visual note-taking is considered an important cognitive skill for those with some special learning situations. My students with dyslexia are eligible to receive these handouts with the Open Dyslexic font to assist in reading and usage.
Supplemental Activities: Extension and remediation:
Socratic Seminar discussions
Remediation will occur based on MAP test and project-based learning assessments.
Assessment/Evaluation : Essay (see above rubric)
Learner Products include Excel/Google Docs or related presentation software.