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Interrupted reading with I Stand Here Ironing by Tillie Olsen

Page history last edited by PBworks 14 years, 11 months ago

Interrupted reading with "I Stand Here Ironing" by Tillie Olsen


Note: this is a two-day lesson plan



Students will be able to:

  • Ask and answer character analysis questions about characters in a short story
  • Engage in a class discussion in which they take turns and use evidence from the text to support their assertions



Day One

1. Do now: In reading workshop section of their notebooks, students will answer the following prompt - "What do you think your parent or guardian would tell me about you?" We will discuss if anyone wants to share."

2. Students will receive a copy of the short story. It is broken up into short segments. The first five segments are short and each have their own page with one or two questions. These questions typically ask about character's motivations or inner thoughts (those that aren't expressed directly on the page). (The exact document will be scanned in and attached to this page at a later date.) We will begin reading the story and at the end of each page, students will answer the question in writing and we will discuss.


Day Two

1. Do now: In reading workshop sectio of their notebooks, students will answer the following prompt - "Pick another adult from your life and tell me what they would say about you to me."

2. We will read the rest of the story without stopping or answering questions as we go along. Students will finally be asked to write about what kind of person they think the mother is so that we can have a discussion on that issue.

3. After finishing their writing, I will elicit from the group the five criteria of a great class discussion. They will be written on the board.

4. Students will receive a blank form for doing a peer review of a classmate's adherence to those criteria. They will be instructed to pay attention to their partner's skills because after the discussion they will be doing a peer review. Students are also instructed that they will be calling on each other and I will only be speaking if there is a lull in the conversation or to push them to cite evidence from the text to support their assertions. We then begin the discussion

5. After the discussion, students will do their peer reviews.



  • How well were students able to answer the "why" questions about the characters in the text?
  • Am I hearing them bring up the vocabulary we have talked about in our study of character analysis - character traits, characterization, and motivation/obstacles?
  • Are they ready to move into working on their character analysis papers?
  • How well did they take turns, listen, and respond to each other during the discussion?
  • Did their questions indicate a "looking closely" at the text?


Questions or comments on this lesson plan? Email me at tim.fredrick@nyu.edu

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