Day 120: Lit Circles and Intro to Summaries

Today, all students got a weekly syllabus that outlines what’s due and what to do from the 8th to the 12th: Writing Wikipedia Syllabus 3.8-3.12

1. More web entertainment about Wikipedia. As students got out their Writer’s Notebooks for me to check (pass/fail grade), we watched two videos about Wikipedia:

Michael Scott tells us what most people think about Wikipedia… That it’s a sham. But we’re going to change that! Right, guys?

Now this tells us a little more information about the basics of what Wikipedia is.

2. Lit Circles. In their reading groups or alone, students talked about (or wrote about) these questions for about 15 minutes:

Key Passages. Each group member should start by looking back through what they read for a passage that stood out to them as being confusing or important. When all members have found a passage, choose one person to read their passage. That person should explain why they chose it. Group members may comment on the selection as well. Then, the next group member should read their selected passage, and so forth. Record any new ideas on the right-hand page of your notebook.

Questions. Each group member should have a question about the plot or a discussion question. Go around the group to ask and answer questions. Use your books! Write answers on the right-hand page of your notebook.

Summary. As a group, summarize the plot so far. Make sure all group members know exactly what happens!

Emerging Themes. As a group, discuss three emerging themes. Write these themes on your right-hand page. Find one quote to support each theme.

3. Featured Article Plot Summaries. In order to get a good idea of what a great plot summary reads like, students read three plot summaries from featured article (i.e. really good) Wikipedia pages (download here: Plot summary examples). You can read them online if you just look for the plot summary or synopsis section:

We discussed the fact that these summaries used sophisticated but easy to understand language, quotes to help support facts, and a variety of sentence structures to ease reading.

4. Writing plot summaries. At the end of class, we had some time to begin writing plot summaries of our own. Students wrote their summaries on the left-hand page of their writer’s notebook, under their response.

HW: Tenets of Wikipedia Guide due tomorrow. Read 1/2 novel and do two more Writer’s Notebook pages for Thursday (next Lit Circle).

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