Paula Stanton, PhD BEL AIR HIGH, BEL AIR, MD
9th Grade ELA : Unit #13 - Crossing Boundaries: Romeo and Juliet : Lesson #7

Research For Narrative : Reading an Article and Listening to a Student as Guest Speaker on Arranged Marriage in India

Objective: SWBAT use details from informational texts and personal communication to draft narratives
Standards: RL.9-10.1 RL.9-10.6 RI.9-10.1 RI.9-10.7 SL.9-10.1b SL.9-10.1c SL.9-10.1d SL.9-10.4 RL.11-12.6
Subject(s): English / Language Arts
60 minutes
1 Do Now: Finish Vocabulary Grid - 10 minutes

For the "Do Now" students will complete the vocabulary grid that we started when we first began reading Romeo and Juliet. I am having my students finish this grid now because we have completed our reading of the play and we have watched the film. I am hoping that my students will be able to easily recognize literary elements and find examples of them in the play (CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.1). In order to make connections to today's lesson, I will tell students to think about the dramatic irony in the play (CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.11-12.6). One of the pieces of dramatic irony is that Juliet's parents want her to marry Paris, but the audience knows that she is already married to Romeo. This causes several events to unfold by the end of the play.

Take a look at the answer key for the vocabulary grid on pg. 28 of the unit plan. You can use this answer key to help students that are struggling with examples from the text.

2 Building Knowledge: Q and A with student - 20 minutes

Last class, one of my students volunteered to discuss the caste system in India and how it relates to arranged marriage. He is a student from India who grew up there for a portion of his life before moving to Maryland. He volunteered to share some of his knowledge and experience so that students could have additional research for their narratives. This is a great opportunity to hear and analyze a perspective or point of view from a culture outside of the United States (CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.6) and to respond to diverse perspectives on the culture (CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.9-10.1.d).

In my previous lesson, students were given an assignment to write a story using narrative techniques with at least one conflict that included an arranged marriage. The purpose of this assignment is to flex their narrative writing muscles and to connect research to writing in different genres. I am having the student speak today because I think it will be interesting to hear his perspective and see whether students will include any of the details from his Q&A session in their stories. Here's a video of a student asking a question about the caste system (CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.9-10.4) and (CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.9-10.1.c). Here's another clip of my student guest speaker discussing respect of the system.

3 Applying Knowledge - 30 minutes

During this part of the lesson, students will get an opportunity to finish reading the two articles we began reading last class (CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.9-10.7) and to work on their writing (if they choose). During their reading they are analyzing the different accounts/viewpoints on arranged marriages in order to decide what to include in their narratives.

1) Modern Lessons from Arranged Marriage

2) Arranged Marriages, Matchmakers, and Dowries in India 

I chose this writing task because it is one that they will likely encounter on standardized assessments, in which they have to independently read an informational text(s) (CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.9-10.10) and develop a real or imagined experience (CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.9-10.3). I think this a great summative task for the end of the year to showcase students ability to synthesize ideas in their writing. has additional examples of writing tasks for students in grades 6-12.

I will circulate the room about every 5-8 minutes to make sure that students are on task.

At the end of the work time, I will ask students if they have any questions about the narrative assignment.  I will review the narrative writing rubric for this assignment and remind them that they must include a conflict with arranged marriage that includes some of the evidence they will have collected when they read the articles. I like this rubric because it uses language right from the Common Core for each of the levels of performance.

I will also remind students that this is not an essay--it is a story, so it will be different from most of the writing that we have done this year. I can also connect this type of writing to their most recent SSR project. Since they have recently read and analyzed a novel, they can draw from their experiences completing that project. Specifically, they can review the narrative techniques in the novels they read to get ideas for how to use them in their own writing.

4 Voting on Trial Defendant - 20 minutes

After I make sure the expectations for the narratives are clear, I will transition students to our decision on who to try in the mock trial for Romeo and Juliet. I will create a list of suspects on the board of characters that are still alive at the end of the play and have students vote on who they think is responsible (CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.9-10.1.b). We will also vote on what the defendant will be charged with.  I am having us take these votes because this is a way to practice collegial decision-making skills and reach a consensus about how we will proceed in our trial. This is important because each student will participate in some capacity in this culminating activity, so I need to have all students participate in decisions related to the trial.

Once we have decided who will be on trial, we will identify roles for the trial. I will have students take a out a piece  of paper and write their names on it. We will need the following roles:

Jurors (12)

Prosecutor (1)

Defense Attorney(1)

Defendant (1-2) depending on who is on trial

Witnesses for the Prosecution (4-5)

Witnesses for the Defense (4-5)

Bailiff (1)

Judge (1)

I will go down the list of roles, having students put their names in a basket. I will draw from the basket and select roles until everyone has one.

I  will end the class by telling students that they will need to go right to work next class, preparing for the trial.