This will be the last official day that students can read their Persepolis books during SSR time, so I will give the students ten minutes to read and then remind them (fervently) that they need to get a true choice text in their hands by next week.
My final assessment for Persepolis will have two distinct parts. One will be the memoir that students write based on Persepolis as a model text. The second will be a seminar, where students will demonstrate their comprehension of Satrapi's rhetorical strategy for using dichotomies, narrative structure and characterization (RI.9-10.6, RL.9-10.3 and RL.9-10.5).
Students have been preparing for this all along with their dichotomy journals, but to support their thinking, I will hand out the plot note catcher and explain what I would like students to include in each square as they prepare for their final seminar.
I am a very fast talker and often speak faster than I am thinking, which causes my words to get muddled and my students to get confused. This is something that I am trying to work on this year, making sure that I either repeat, post or write important ideas or instructions so that students have multiple reminders of what I am asking them to do.
That said, having really spent some time planning how I wanted to divide the book and organize the seminar prep helped me to be very clear in my instructions. Students understood what they needed to do, how much time they had to accomplish their tasks and felt like they could be successful with the tasks at hand. This was evidenced by their final work (see next section for samples) and in their diligent use of time in class.
During this time, I will let students dive into their seminar prep sheet and work on their own. I will wander the classroom and see if anyone has questions or to push them to read more deeply than they might do on their own. I will also encourage them to use as much textual support as they can as that will help them to be more successful on their final seminar (RI.9-10.1).
All but a few of my more apathetic students used the entire time to work on this sheet. They had their books open, asked great questions about the various plot points (i.e. "I think this panel could be the climax, but this panel could also work. What do you think?), and showed me that the close reading was a good call. I think having them look at the book as a whole first would have overwhelmed them, but having them look at one section as a microcosm of Satrapi's style and purpose helped them to see the larger style and purpose of the text as a whole. I have high hopes for the seminar tomorrow.
After giving the students time to work independently, I will let them touch base quickly with their peers reading the same section of text. I will then assign them the homework of filling in a second plot chart note catcher for the book as a whole.