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Language
Arts (2)

Unit Introduction

1. Preassessment

2. Introductory Activities

3. Differentiated Activity #1

4. Large Group Instruction

5. Small group/ individual activities

6. Differentiated Activity #2

7. Final Assessment

8. Chapter Questions

 


Introductory Activities

They Cage the Animals at Night is an autobiography written by Jennings Michael Burch.  Jennings immediately captures our hearts from the first pages as he is a seven year old boy who is left at an orphanage by his mother.  His ordeals of bouncing in and out of institutions, foster care, home and seeking solace at a zoo tear at a person’s heart.  Jennings’ siblings rarely come to his rescue but he is able to “finally belong” at the conclusion.  Jennings’ courage abounds throughout his childhood.  This book reads as a personal narrative.  At risk students may relate to the abundant themes ranging from perseverance, dysfunctional families, foster care and abuse.  The book is riveting and powerful; one which even reluctant readers will wish to devour.

An introductory activity is to give each student a copy of They Cage the Animals at Night.  After allowing a few minutes to examine the title, the following questions should be answered on a 4 X 5” sticky note:  (the sticky notes should be kept for future reference)

What do you believe the title infers?  Why do you feel this way?
Looking at the information printed on the cover, what do you predict will occur?

At the student’s tables, they will share their answers then follow with a group discussion.

In order to make certain students know the differences between a biography and an autobiography, the class may define these two terms.

Lastly, the students shall be assigned to read the one page prologue. (Also define this literary term.)  Small group and large group discussion follows.

All of these introductory activities are Differentiated Instruction because each student is allowed to prepare their own response and share with their peers through flexible grouping. Students are allowed to lead the discussion, rather than the teacher.  Critical and creative thinking skills are also being applied.

 

 

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