Rebecca Lesson Plans
by Daphne Du Maurier

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Rebecca character analysis pre-writing

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Cooperative Learning Lesson Plan

Grade Level: 11-12

Subject Area: Mystery & Suspense

Date: ____________

Lesson: Prewriting for character analysis writing for Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier

Objectives: Students will prepare written prewriting materials for essay on Rebecca (prewriting can include notes, outline, Venn diagram, webbing, flow chart, brainstorming lists, etc.).

  • Academic: Students will have specific ideas and supporting details for the written essay. Students will feel competent in their preparation for writing.
  • Social: Students will feel connected to others in the group and class. Students will experience checking for agreement and checking for understanding.

Decisions:

  • Group Size: 2-4
  • Method of Assigning Students: Students determine in whose voice (the narrator, Mr. de Winter, Mrs. Dancers, Frith, or Beatrice), and groups will be homogeneous in terms of that voice. All students will be allowed to use their first choice (thus, the variable size of the groups), and teacher will assign groups randomly in the case of more than four students choosing the same character voice. In the event, a student is the only one to choose a certain character, he/she will join a group based on a closely related character. (For example. Frith and Mrs. Danvers are both employees of the de Winters. There would probably be several students choosing Mrs. Danvers but possibly few or one choosing Frith. A student alone in choosing Frith could go with the Mrs. Danvers group.)
  • Roles: Recorder, checker for understanding, check for agreement, encourager. Students may also assign specific roles based on the different characters or settings in the book and how the character whose voice they are using sees each of these. For example, in a group writing in the young Mrs. de Winter’s voice, one student could take Maxim, another could take Mrs. Danvers, yet another could take the ghostly Rebecca and a final student could take Manderley (setting).
  • Room arrangement: Students move desks into circles of two to four facing each other in KKEE (knee to knee, eye to eye) fashion.
  • Materials: Paper (one sheet per group (which can later be photocopied for the solo writing), pens (different colors for individual accountability), study guides (one per student), the novel Rebecca (one per student). Explaining

Task and Goal Structure

  • Task: Groups will greet and welcome each other and give themselves a cute alliterative name based on the character whose voice they will write in (e.g., Maxim’s Musings, Wifely Worries, Danvers’ Demonic Dealings, etc.). Roles of recorder, checker for understanding, encourager, and checker for agreement will be determined. Students will brainstorm all the different characters, events, and settings they wish to include. They will have been forewarned that it is better to have too much material to use (in the final product) than not enough. Students will then delegate different aspects (see “Roles) to various students in the group or they may work together on all aspects. Students will then discuss, based on their reading, how the character whose voice they will write in feels toward various other characters, events, setting, etc. Recorder will write down specific examples and checkers for agreement and understanding will ensure that all are participating and agreeing. (Total agreement is not necessary, but if a group member does not agree, the recorder should note this so that this group member knows his/her “minority views” are respected by the group.)
  • Criteria for Success: Group successfully completes a prewriting activity using both discussion (monitored by teacher and possibly a student) and writing. The written form, be it an outline, a flow chart, notes, etc. is handed in to be duplicated for the next step in the writing process.

About this Document

This lesson was created following the guidelines of Johnson and Johnson's cooperative learning. It is a useful method of organizing students into groups for pre-writing before they write their own character analysis essays.