How would you engage your students in a week long lesson plan on Ender's Game?
This is my first lesson plan for an education class and I'm having the worst time with it. I'd appreciate some help finding ways to sort out my mind when concerned with teaching close reading in Ender's Game. I've already begun coming up with ideas, don't get me wrong, but I figure this is a fun question that may give pleasure to someone answering. For that, I hand it over to you. =)
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This question very much depends on several factors, including the age/grade and ability level of your students, how much of the book you will cover in a week, and your ultimate goal for the unit.
That said, I've taught Ender's Game for many years, so I can provide a few broad ideas that you can possibly work into a week of plans.
While "close reading" certainly has its place in the language arts classroom, this would not be a lesson I'd include for this novel. The beauty of this novel, and I speak from experience, is that everyone ends up loving it. The story itself is one that captures the attention of almost every student, and for me, it has been the book that turns non-readers into readers.
That said, I dig in to the story together, and explore it on a thematic level. I do lots of discussion and activities on leadership. I have my students role-play scenarios using "what would you do" questions.
In one activity, I have my students rank 10 different leadership qualities in order of importance, before reading the book. Then, at the end of the book, we re-examine which qualities turned out to be most important for Ender.
You are right that planning a week's worth of lessons on a book you've never taught is daunting. Your first step should be to sit down and come up with a main focus or two for the entire book. I typically go with a theme focus, personally. Then, revolve your daily lessons and activities around this theme. Remember to include key words like characterization, foreshadowing, symbolism, figures of speech, etc. here and there. Good luck.
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