Dragonwings: Evaluate Chapters 6-9
- Grades: 6–8
- Unit Plan:
- Demonstrate the ability to read independently for extended periods of time in order to derive pleasure and to gain information.
- Make connections between a text read independently and their prior knowledge, other texts, and the world.
- Use graphic representations such as charts, graphs, pictures, and graphic organizers as information sources and as a means of organizing information and events logically.
- Use skimming and scanning techniques.
- Analyze the structural elements of plot and point of view.
- Identify the speaker in a literary work and recognize the difference between first- and third-person narration and between the omniscient and limited omniscient points-of-view.
- Determine pronunciation, meanings, alternate word choices, parts of speech, or the etymologies of words by using a dictionary and a thesaurus.
- Student copies of Laurence Yep’s Dragonwings
- Pencil and paper
- Plot Sheet & Conflict List
- Story Elements: Plot Diagram
- Chart paper
- Large piece of banner/butcher paper
- 1 computer and video projector/a computer lab with at least one computer per 2 students
Set Up and Prepare
- Copy the Plot Sheet & Conflict List for each student.
- Copy the Story Elements: Plot Diagram printable for each student or for each small group.
- Make sure students have read up to chapter 8 in Dragonwings prior to beginning the first part of this lesson.
- Add the following words to your Vocabulary List: Chapters 6-8Chapters 9-10antiquateddesolatestark reckoningstereopticonundulatetentativeboisterousvehementominousschematicsvenerableproprietyquerulousjargonmakeshifterraticfastidiousrepertorydebris
- Schedule use of a computer lab or reserve a video projector from your school’s media center to hook up to a classroom computer.
- Preview the following websites to become familiar with the content before displaying them to students:
Part I – Plotting the Plot
Step 1: Introduce the vocabulary words for chapters 6 to 8. Allow time to define the remaining words. Divide the students into groups of 3 or 4 to discuss all the words from the first two lists and compare definitions. Walk around and observe the conversations, making yourself available to clarify misconceptions about the meanings as needed.
Step 2: Distribute the Plot Diagram printable to the students or groups.
Step 3: Ask students in whose point of view this story is being told. Discuss the effect of having Moon Shadow’s point of view in the story. Since this is the first-person point of view, have students discuss whether it is omniscient or limited omniscient. Since it is limited, what was Yep’s purpose in using this point of view? Generate a discussion on point of view.
Step 4: Review the components of a plot with the students. Go ahead and tell them that they have not reached the climax of the story yet. (The climax is chapter 9.)
Step 5: Instruct students to complete the first half of the Plot Diagram. The Introduction is basically only chapter 1, but the Rising Action is the area of importance here. There is only a small line for chapters 2 through 8, so obviously the most important events can be included on this diagram. Students will have to analyze the plot of the novel to decide which events to include, and then they will have to summarize and paraphrase what happened to complete the worksheet. Therefore, there are many skills being reviewed during its completion.
Step 6: After the students have completed an individual or group plot diagram, use banner paper to have the students create one large plot diagram to be displayed on a classroom wall. This way, during the reading of the last three chapters, events can be added to the class diagram to create one big display.
Part II – Where’s the Conflict?
Step 7: Review with students the four types of conflict that can be found in a piece of literature: character vs. nature, character vs. character, character vs. self, character vs. society. All four types can be found in Dragonwings.
Step 8: Distribute the Plot Sheet and Conflict List printable. Have students work in groups of 4 to complete the worksheet, answering Question One as it is, but changing Question Two by crossing out the phrase “at the end.” For Question Three, add the phrase so far at the end. Have each student in the group take one type of conflict as listed on the sheet that was previously reviewed. Each will address the Main Problem, Character’s Goal, and Resolution as it pertains to his/her chosen conflict on the list. Students may do this independently or with each other as needed.
Step 9: Instruct students to discuss the information in their small group to make sure all group members agree with the data recorded on their worksheets.
Step 10: In a whole group, discuss the conflicts of the novel. You may decide to record ideas on chart paper in order to create a classroom display.
Part III – The Climax of the Novel
Step 11: Introduce the list of vocabulary words for Chapters 9 and 10. Allow time to define the remaining words. In their groups of 3 or 4, have students discuss all the words and compare definitions. Walk around and observe the conversations, making yourself available to clarify misconceptions about the meanings as needed.
Step 12: Schedule time in class or time at home for students to read through Chapter 9. Before assigning this chapter, tell students that this is the climax of the novel.
Step 13: Before chronicling the events of the chapter, present the following websites and information to students either for personal viewing in a computer lab or for whole-class viewing with a video projector.
- Science Interactives: The Earthquake
- The Great 1906 San Francisco Earthquake
- PowerPoint prepared by the Virtual Museum of the City of San Francisco
- Berkeley Seismological Laboratory
- The Learning Page
Step 14: After allowing students to make connections to the San Francisco Earthquake disaster, have each reread chapter 9 in order to more accurately visualize the earthquake’s effect on the main characters of the novel.
Supporting All Learners
Students may choose to read with a partner in some cases. Another option would be to have a struggling reader read the text aloud into a tape recorder. Then, at night or in the car going to and from school, the student can review the text to increase chances for comprehension.
Students can further research San Francisco and Chinatown in the early 1900s. They may also need to review types of conflict while reading chapter 9 as each is reintroduced in the text.
As a homework assignment, have students discuss earthquakes with their parents. Depending on your location, this may be an important natural disaster to consider. In this case, have students review Earthquake Safety Tips and make a plan for survival both at home and at school.
The focus at this point in the unit is to make sure students are connecting to the text. Also, if students are struggling with literary elements or conflicts, you may need to revisit these either at this point or in a mini-lesson at the end of the unit.
- Assess information included on the printables and displays.
- Pop quizzes are sometimes necessary to make sure students are keeping
up with the reading assignments during a novel study.