Grade: all
Subject: Literature

#4139. Writing a Paragraph through Text to Self Analysis

Literature, level: all
Posted Tue Mar 25 14:07:45 PST 2008 by Lisa Greenbaum (Lisa Greenbaum).
My Brother Sam Is Dead lesson plans, activities, units and teaching guides
New York, NY

My Brother Sam Is Dead
Online Teaching Tool -- Book Punch/Literature Lesson Plan (optional)

Why is it important to connect our own experiences to Sam's decisions in the novel, My Brother Sam Is Dead?

• Students will be able to better comprehend the themes in the book by reflecting on their own personal experiences.
• Students will be able to write a coherent, organized paragraph about a theme suggested by the book.
• Students will become more engaged in the writing process if they follow the Text to Self analysis in the Book Punch online teaching tool for this book.

Turn to your neighbor and share a time when you stood up for an important belief or principle. (5 minutes)

After students speak to another classmate for 5 minutes about the above topic, ask for volunteers from each pair to share with the class the other person's story. The goal is to be working on students' listening skills as well as preparing them for the class assignment. Let students know they will be asked to repeat their partner's story to the class. It is important to explain to students the value of paying attention to each other. Often we come to understand ourselves better by showing genuine interest in others. (5 minutes)

After a few students have volunteered to share the DO NOW, explain to them that they will be working on a pre-writing assignment that will help them make deeper connections to a theme in the book. Students can respond to the following prompt:

In the story, Sam joins the American Revolutionary Army because he feels that the colonists are taxed unfairly by the British. His father thinks that fighting over taxes is not worth the lives that will be lost. Sam claims he is standing up for a principle.

Write about a time when you stood up for an important principle or belief. Describe what you did and how it made you feel.

At this time, teacher can assist students in coming up with a topic by showing them how to brainstorm. Teacher models brainstorming on the board by drawing a circle and writing the word BELIEF inside of it. The teacher then draws 4 arrows coming out of the circle and writes the following questions next to each arrow:
1. What are the principles that motivated you?
2. What were your feelings?
3. What is something you had to do?
4. What did you learn from the experience?

Teacher writes one answer to each of the questions. The teacher asks the students to fill out their own sheets at their desk.

Students will begin to write their paragraph based on the prompt the class has discussed.

It would be helpful to have them work at a computer that allows them access to My Brother Sam Is Dead Book Punch online teaching tool. Students can follow each question as it guides them through the writing of a paragraph. Numerous Tips are provided to enable and encourage the student. If not, students will complete paragraphs on their chosen topics without the aid of the Book Punch online teaching tool. (25 minutes)

Students will have a whole class discussion on the following topics:
• Refer to AIM and ask class to respond to the question. What would Sam think of them?
• If class is set up with Book Punch online teaching tool, they can answer the following question:
How was the Pre-Writing Notepad helpful during this assignment?
(10 minutes)