Prose Analysis

Unit 3: Prose Analysis

Day 1

Objectives: Students will be able to articulate the expectations of the Honor English course and make appropriate goals through small group sharing.

Do Now: Name a strategy you use to help you achieve goals. Describe it as why it works. Write-pair- share

Lesson Activities:

1. Setting up to succeed-Cornell notes , dialectical journal
2. Teacher explains the cause expectations and students use Cornell notes to engage themselves in active listening.
3. In a small group, students share notes and interesting summer experiences. Students will continue to use the Cornell note method to observe and make inferences. Make goals for the year.

Summary: what’s one goal that I really want to achieve this year? What will I need to do to attain it.

Homework: decorate your notebook with clear goals and expectations. Be creative.

Day 2

Objectives: Students will be able to use various strategies to annotate a text to help them gain a deeper understanding of a text.

Do Now: How do you read when dealing with a text of complexity? Write-pair-share.

Mini Lesson

How do we annotate a text? Click the link to review an example.

What did you notice how one annotation?

Independent Practice: We’ll read an excerpt from Shipping News and use the strategies we have learned from the annotation guide to annotate the excerpt. Be prepared to share your annotations.

Summary: What new information have I noticed through annotation? How do I see myself use te strategy in my learning in general?

Homework: Finish annotating the excerpt and bring the annotations to share in class.


Objectives: Students will be able to provide textual evidence to support inference about the character traits of the protagonist


Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.

Do Now: What does ” analysis” mean to you? What does it look like in practice? Write-pair-share.


Mini Lesson

  1. Using Cornell notes , dialectical journal
  2. Class does over the format and characteristics of Cornell note-taking method. What does it demand from a reader?
  3. How and why should we use  dialectical journal to annotate our reading?

Student Independent Practice

Based on your annotations of the excerpt of from the “Shipping News”, reorganize them into a Cornell notes and pick a couple of quotations and record your interpretation of them in a dialectical journal.

Reflect: How do Cornell note-taking and dialectical journal help me read deeper?

Homework: 1. Revise the Cornell notes based on the excerpt. 2. Create a dialectical journal to record your annotations. 3) Use SIFT annotation method to annotate the excerpt one more time focusing on literary devices that help the author portray the character.


Day 5:

Objectives: Students will be able to ask various levels of questions to enhance their understanding of a text through creating multiple-choice questions.

Materials: Questioning Technique handout ( pg 4-5)

Do Now: Share one entry of dialectical journal with your elbow partner.

Mini Lesson:  How to ask different levels of questions to go deeper with a text?

  1. Review questioning techniques
  2. Model asking questions.

Independent Practice:

  1. Use your notes in the dialectical journal to help you ask questions.
  2.  Share in a small group and post your questions on a poster paper.

Exit Slip/Reflect: How do questioning techniques help me  read a text deeper?

Homework: Complete guided annotations (Activity 3) and fill out Category 1, 2 3 columns ( after reviewing the example from the previous page).


Day 6

Objectives: Students will be able to apply all three type of note-taking skills to reading closely the text by completing a group annotation activity.

Do Now: Rejoin in the small group from the previous day, share questions by using homework assignment. Post best questions on a poster paper. Explain your group decision.

Mini Lesson

Teacher models close reading by reading and analyzing an excerpt from the Shipping News using Cornell Notes, dialectical journal and SIFT annotation.

Independent Practice

In small groups, students provide one example of each type of annotation or note-taking strategy based on the paragraph assigned. Post the examples  on the same poster paper. ( I’ll assess the finished group work).

Each student can use her or his strength to contribute to the group work.

Reflect: How can annotative skills or note-taking skill help one read deeply?

Homework: Complete Activity 3 : Guided Annotations #1 #2 #3 and #4A


Day 7

Objectives: Students will work on a baseline assessment by reading several articles before completing the assigned written assignments.

Do Now: Finish the group work.

Mini Lesson: What’s the baseline assessment? Why do we take the baseline assessment? How do we do it?

Independent Practice:

Read and annotate the articles in the assessment book. I’ll collect your what you have done and you will finish the assessment on Monday.


1, Complete Activity Two Item 4B-

Write another statement of analysis about how Proulx uses figurative language to reveal Quiyle’s character, using the frame statement in 4A as a guide.

2. Based on the thesis statement from 4B, write an an essay in which you discuss how the author Proulx uses figurative language to develop Quirle’s character as well as the theme.

First draft due on Tuesday.


Day 8 Connotative Diction

Objectives: Students will be able to identify words that connote deeper meaning about the character Quoyle.

Do Now: In the sentence ” Quoyle, born in Brooklyn and raised in a shuffle of dreary upstate towns”, replace the word ” shuffle” with a different word and explain if the meaning remains the same. Why?

Mini Lesson:

About Diction and its effects on meaning

Author’s Word Choice-

  • a pattern: repetition( synonyms) or opposite ( binary)
  • unusual word
  • words that suggest shift in meaning

How does the word choice effect the meaning or the character portrayal?

Independent Practice:

In the same group, point out the characteristics of diction and explain how they impact the author’s character portrayal.

Reflect: How does word choice have great impact on character portrayal and theme?

Homework: Write a paragraph in which you use three examples of author’s word choice and explain how her diction impacts Quayle’s character portrayal.


Day 8 Writing a Thick Paragraph

Objectives: Students will be able to write a well-developed paragraph.

Do Now: Finish the diction group activity in 4 minutes and present your work.

Mini Lesson: How to write a well-developed paragraph by looking into an author’s craft and its contribution to the meaning?

  1. By looking at the connotative diction that you have noticed, what kind of character is the author creating through those words? Write an assertion ( claim) abut Quoyle’s character based on the connotative diction.
  2. The claim is your topic sentence, which will guide you to develop the paragraph.
  3. The components of a paragraph: topic sentence, context( a brief summary of the text where your examples are cited), examples, analysis and so what ( connect back yo your claim).
  4. An Example: In the excerpt, Quoyale diminishes his presence in the world he lives by minimizing the attention drawn to him( topic sentence). He had an unsteady childhood and even his college life was troubling, which forces him to trust only himself and never to rely on anyone else( context). Quoyle is described to be ” raised in a shuffle of dreary upstate towns” as a child. The word “ shuffle” reveals that he never knew what was coming next in his childhood but got dealt randomly like a deck of cards. The unpredictability was the only certainty in his life. When he became a college student, he ” camouflaged torment with smiles and silence”. The word ” camouflage” depicts a young man who hides from the reality and pretends to be normal or fit in. He doesn’t want others to know his sufferings and keeps everything to himself. He may have kept his life as a mystery to anyone surrounding him, thus isolation himself from the world he lives in. He is portrayed as ” stumb[ling] through his twenties and into his thirties”. The metaphor ” stumbling” suggests his constant struggle and falls throughout his adult life, which shapes his attitude not to count on anyone. These three examples of connotative diction clearly illustrate the struggle Quoyle deals with on a daily basis throughout his entire life, suggesting his deep loneliness and isolation, thus the meaningless existence and coldness that cause his depression.


Day 9

Objectives: Students will gain deeper understanding of each element that is embedded in a well-constructed paragraph.

Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in the text, including figurative and connotative meanings; analyze the cumulative impact of specific word choices on meaning and tone (e.g., how the language evokes a sense of time and place; how it sets a formal or informal tone).

Do now: Write a statement that explains your understanding of one of the following elements-

  • Topic Sentence-Claim
  • Context
  • In-text Citation
  • Example
  • Explanation
  • Analysis
  • Making connections( so what)

Pair and share.

Mini Lesson

Read the model paragraph and describe the characteristics of each element you observe. We’ll make a list of the characteristics.

Claim: one sentence,reader’s interpretation, strong verbs.  a brief reason

Context: main idea of the excerpt, to provide background information, framing the discussion, related to the claim,

In-Text citation: paragraph or line number, citation in quotation marks

How to cite examples:

  1. Introduce the sentence in which the example appears
  2. Single out the word and discuss its meaning

Explanation: What do the words appear to describe or mean?

Analysis: What deeper meaning does the word imply? Why?

So What( Making a connection):  Putting all the examples together, how do they contribute to the claim? How do they connect to the claim?

Independent Practice: 

Switch your paragraph with a partner and use a pen in different colors from the original writing and mark the component of a well-developed paragraph.

If you don’t see the component, what suggestions can you give to your partner to revise the paragraph?

Reflect: How does the understanding of a paragraph structure help you organize ideas for a literary analysis?

Homework: Identify 2-3 examples of figurative language and write a 2nd well-developed paragraph to discuss how the author uses figurative language to portray Quoyle and reveal a theme.

Paragraph Elements A (90+) B(80+) C(70+) D (65) F(65-)
Topic Sentence-Claim: one sentence ( complex), reader’s interpretation, debatable, strong verbs,  a brief reason Include all elements Include most elements Include some elements Include few elements none
Context: main idea of the excerpt, to provide background information, framing the discussion, related to the claim, Helping frame the discussion and relevant to the claim General but relevant General with no clear intention to connect with the claim Vague and irrelevant none
In-Text citation:paragraph or line number, citation in quotation marks Clear and appropriate Clear and some relevancy inconsistent vague none
Example-Introduce the sentence in which the example appears; Single out the word and discuss its meaning Appropriate and precise appropriate General vague none
Explanation:  What do the words appear to describe or mean? Appropriate and precise appropriate general vague none
Analysis: What deeper meaning does the word imply? Why? Insightful and appropriate( with 3+ sentences) Relevant( with 2+ sentences) General( with 1+ sentences) Vague ( 1 sentence) none
Making connections ( so what): Putting all the examples together, how do they contribute to the claim? How do they connect to the claim? Insightful and relevant with clear connection to the claim Relevant with clear connection to the claim General with some connection to the claim vague none


Day 10

Objectives: Students will be able to compose a full essay with an introduction and conclusion through pair and small group collaboration.

Write explanatory texts to examine and convey complex ideas, concepts, and information clearly and accurately through the effective selection, organization, and analysis of content.

Do Now: How does the peer-editing experience help you gain better understanding of writing a well-developed paragraph? Write-Pair -share

Mini Lesson: Your Task

The excerpt from the first chapter of Ann Proulx’s The Shipping News deals almost exclusively with the characterization of the protagonist, Quoyle. Read the passage carefully. Then write an essay in which you analyze how the author uses diction, details and figurative language to create a complex character.

How to approaching an essay topic ( task)?

Step 1: Understanding the task

Step 2: Underlying the key words and phrases that help you understand the task

Step 3: Turn the statement into a question

Step 4: Answer the question

Step 5: Describe what you’ll need to do to provide an effective answer to the question(s)

Step 6: Identify the evidence that will help you generate a thesis statement

Independent Practice

Follow the 6 steps and answer each small group will come up with a thesis statement with three piece of evidence that will be used to support the thesis.

Reflect: How did the process work for you in respect to approaching an essay topic or beginning to write an essay?

Homework: Reread your essay (1st draft) and describe three things you’d like to do differently but may have trouble doing the tasks.


Day 11

Objectives: Students will be able to write a well-developed essay that includes an insightful thesis statement.

Write explanatory texts to examine and convey complex ideas, concepts, and information clearly and accurately through the effective selection, organization, and analysis of content.

Do Now: Pair-share the thesis statement and pick one to  share in class. Explain why you picked this statement.

Mini Lesson:

How to write an effective thesis statement?

  • Directly address the essay question
  • there is a shift ( tension) within the statement
  • state the literary devices used by the author

How to write an introduction?

  1. Provide one -sentence comment on the topic you are writing.
  2. Provide an appropriate context of the narrative
  3. State the thesis statement

How to write a conclusion?

  • Restate the most important point you have been making throughout the essay but in different words.
  • Make a real life connection ( how is the discussion relevant in real life?)

Independent Practice

  • Use the tips provide to revise the introduction and write a conclusion.
  • There should be two body paragraphs in the essay- one is on how the author uses diction to reveal the character and the second one should be about how the author uses figurative language to reveal the character.

Reflect: What have I learned about writing a full essay? What are the most challenging elements in essay writing to me?

Homework: Revise and type the essay and final draft is due tomorrow.