9-10 RL 5 and 11-12 RL 5 Transcript
This is Common Core ELA video for standard 9-10 RL 5 and 11-12 RL 5. Analyze how an author's choices, concerning how to structure a text, order events within a text (e.g., parallel plots), and manipulate time (e.g. pacing, flash backs), create such effects as mystery, tension or surprise. 11-12 RL 5, Analyze how an author's choices concerning how to structure specific part of a text (e.g. the choices of where to begin or end a story, the choice to provide a comedic or tragic resolution) contribute to its overall structure and meaning as well as its aesthetic impact.
The big idea in standard 5 is how an author's choices contribute to the structure and meaning of the text. For grades 9 and 10 students analyze how the choices of structure, order of events and time manipulation are used to create effects such as mystery, tension, or surprise. In grades 11 and 12 students are asked to analyze how choices are used to structure specific parts of the text to create the overall structure and meaning of the text, as well as its artistic impact.
In earlier grades students will have learn about structure, form, and how these contribute to the meaning and style. In grades 9 and 10 students are asked to analyze how those choices create effects within the text. In grades 11-12 they're asked to analyze how choices within specific parts are the texts contribute to the overall structure and meaning of the text. In other words they aren't asked to just identify choices, their asked to analyze how authors use choices to create effects and meaning in the text.
Now let's take a look at what instruction could look like in order for high school students to be able to identify author choices to structure texts, order events, and manipulate time, and then how these choices create effects within the text, such as, mystery, tension, and surprise. An example of this would be to use structure discussions based on high quality questions that require students to think about the parts of text that authors used to create certain effects, such as mystery tension, surprise, meaning, or sensory impact.
The text we've selected to model this technique is Edgar Allan Poe's "The Raven", which is included in the Section of the CCSS document entitled text illustrating the complexity, quality, and range of student reading six through 12 page 58. We chose it because the author's use of parallel structure giving it 18 6-line stanzas, its mysterious and suspenseful nature, and its yielding of vivid sensory depictions.
Prior to the lesson you'll want to read the poem and identify the key structural elements on which you want the students to focus. You will also want to identify high quality questions to help students negotiate meaning of the text. For example, is there something about the poem that influenced your thinking why the author chose to write the poem this way? What made you think that way? You may also want to create a discussion organizer for students to record their impressions and decisions about the text.
To introduce the lesson you might ask students to select key terms in the standard, and in the parenthetical references, that they will be seeking when reading the text. For example, structure, order, time, mystery, tension, surprise, beginning and ending, or resolution, comedic or tragic resolution, and prompt them to use their vocabulary journals to clarify any meaning, or locate examples of terms from previous readings. The purpose is to explicitly connect students to the structural elements in the text for which they should look; all of which they might not attend to without prompting or close reading.
When introducing "The Raven", give students some information about the author. You might want to say Edgar Allan Poe was one of the greatest, yet unhappiest American poet. He was a master of the horror tale. "The Raven" is Edgar Allan Poe's most popular poem that tells the story of a man who gets a late night visit from a mysterious bird that says only the word: "Nevermore." However, although this sounds simple, there's much more going on this poem.
Then introduce the poem, by telling students let's read the poem first in its entirety by listen to its audio recording to get a feel for the entire piece. You will have the opportunity to make personal notes about the structural elements noted during this first reading. For the subsequent reading pause the audio recording at each stanza to prompt students by asking them to refer to their list of structural elements from previous readings and ask questions about which elements they observed in the text while reading. Examples are provided for stanzas 1-3.
Here's the first stanza:
Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary, Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping, As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door- "Tis some visitor," I muttered, "tapping at my chamber door Only this and nothing more."
Examples of high quality questions are: What do you notice about the structure of the text within the first stanza? Why do you think the author presented the text this way? What do you notice about rhyme and repetition? What do you think the poet is trying to make you think about with the rhyme and repetition? How does the author give us information about time? What questions does that make you ask? How is the poet creating a sense of mystery and tension? Through prompting questions students are able to engage in a close reading of the text that promotes in-depth analysis and discussion of the author's choices for text structure.
Ah, distinctly I remember it was in the bleak December, And each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor. Eagerly I wished the morrow, — vainly I had sought to borrow From my books surcease of sorrow--sorrow for the lost Lenore— For the rare and radiant maiden whom the angels named Lenore— Nameless here for evermore.
Examples of high quality questions for the stanza are: Is something about the poet's use of time that moves your thinking in a particular direction? Why do you think that? What can you sense, visualize, feel, or hear? How is the poet making us think about the mood the character is experiencing? And why? Read on.
And a silken, sad, uncertain rustling of each purple curtain thrilled me— filled me with fantastic terrors never felt before; So that now, to still the beating of my heart, I stood repeating, "Tis some visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door— some late visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door, — This is it and nothing more."
In this stanza you want to highlight elements of mystery and tension regarding who was at the character's door and the feelings the character has about the visitor. Students should point out that the character is frightened from the use other words sad, and uncertain, the mood created by the rustling curtains the noting of fantastic terrors never felt before. Repetition of nearly the same words and line 4 and 5 should also be noted as a means to invoke emotions of tension and mystery.
For the 11-12-grade band attention should also be given to the type of resolution reached in the text, whether comedic or tragic by asking students to decide whether the ending is comedic, tragic, or indifferent, as well as provide the reasons by citing information from the stanzas for their responses. These examples of high-quality questions can be used to support students close reading of text and analysis of the author's choices and allow them to respond with elaborated explanations. In addition the poem also lends itself well to exploring sensory impact with references to the sound of wrapping and tapping on the door, a fire burning out and the flowing of purple silk curtains.
After the preliminary readings students can work in groups to analyze structure, provide justification for making such selections, have discussions, and ask questions. Each group can be assigned a set of three stanzas beginning with 4-6 going through to 16-18, since 1-3 was covered in whole class discussion. Each group will be charged to create a visual representation of their choice relative to the structural elements of the text that have been chosen by the author.
Here's an example of what students may create as a visual to guide their presentation: stanzas, rhyme or repetition, time elements, mystery or tension, aesthetic, or sensory impact.
18 stanzas, six lines each the word door, more, Lenore, Lenore, more, explore, explore, more at lines 4-6 of stanzas 3-6; terms used: presently, no longer, dared to dream before, louder than before; wrapping, tapping at the door invokes the curiosity as to who would be visiting, whispering "Lenore" forged question as to who that person is, actual use of the word "mystery" prompted such; sound: wrapping, tapping, echo, murmured, silence was unbroken, and tapping lower than before; sight: deep in the darkness, dreaming dreams, window lattice; feelings: stillness, fear, dreaming dreams, soul within me burning, heart be still, wind, and nothing more.
As a formative assessment piece students can independently utilize the information on the graphic organizer to summarize how these elements create the intended effects and or contribute to the overall structure and meaning. Teachers can use a rubric, shared with students prior to the assignment, to write the written assignment.