Teacher Instructions & Lesson Resources :
Pre-step (using a picture book to start a discussion before sharing from the young adult novel): Share the story “The Sneetches” by Dr. Seuss to the students. Click here to see how to order this book from Amazon, if you don't have access to one through your library. This story is about a set of beings called Sneetches. Within their culture, there exists a small class system between the star-bellied Sneetches and the bare-bellied Sneetches. One group of Sneetches is perceived as better than the other. As you are sharing the story, students should listen for the voices of the three major sets of characters: the star-bellied Sneetches, the bare bellied Sneetches, & the salesman. The students should look for evidence from the story to support how they would describe each set's voices. To direct students thinking during the reading, have the students fill out the “Sneetches” reading guide Denylle has provided here.
Have students discuss the responses they wrote on their reading guides. These discussions can be in the form of small group discussions or whole class discussions. As a class, discuss different tactics Dr. Seuss uses to tell his story (i.e. the rhyming scheme Seuss is notorious for, dialogue of the characters, events in the story). Talk about different ways writers make written descriptions more vibrant (i.e. using the thesaurus to use synonyms for dead words, or using metaphors, similes and other figurative language to enhance descriptions).
Step one (sharing the published model): Read the first chapter of The Glory Field by Walter Dean Myers. This novel follows the history of a black American family. The story is told from the points-of-view of several different members of this family. These characters’ different stories are told as they happened in history. One major character lives in modern times. Another lives during the Civil Rights movement. Another lives on a Southern plantation during slavery. And the character who is featured in the first chapter is an African forced onto a slave ship.
Denylle suggests, "For the reading of the first chapter to be effective, it is important that students actually see the words as you read them. So, you may want to make copies or overheads of the chapter OR use class sets of the novel, so that students may follow along."
After you’ve read the chapter, have students locate words and phrases in the chapter that use descriptive voice-laden language...language that makes the experience on the ship come alive for the reader. Use this Glory Field Reading Guide for students to record their examples. In small group discussions have students share the phrases they chose and talk about the images they see because of those phrases.