Author:
Annmarie Steltzer, MSDE Admin, Kathleen Maher-Baker
Subject:
English Language Arts
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Level:
Middle School
Grade:
6
Tags:
  • Belonging
  • ELA
  • English
  • Grade 6
  • MSDE
  • belonging
  • ela
  • grade-6
    License:
    Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike
    Language:
    English

    Education Standards

    Grade 6: Belonging, Lesson 3 (remix)

    Grade 6: Belonging, Lesson 3 (remix)

    Overview

    This lesson focuses on the chapter “Chinatown” from Laurence Yep’s memoir, The Lost Garden.  Students will consider the factors that contributed to Yep’s struggle to find a sense of belonging with his peers and in his community.  Students will determine in what ways the essential question (In what ways does our need to feel a sense of belonging conflict with our individuality?) is relevant to Laurence Yep’s experience as he describes it in “Chinatown”.

    "Chinatown" from The Lost Garden (Day 1)

    Lesson Procedure

    1. The teacher will pre-assess students’ understanding of the memoir genre and will provide additional guidance, examples, or explanation as needed.  The teacher should also review author’s point of view and perspective with students prior to reading “Chinatown”.
    2. The teacher will explain that the author of “Chinatown” Laurence Yep, experienced challenges in defining himself as an individual and as a member of a community. Students will recall the essential question, "In what ways does our need to feel a sense of belonging conflict with our individuality?"
    3. Students will read "Chinatown", noting the author's feelings and challenges as he tried to build a sense of belonging.  Students will complete the first two columns for the chart, The Author Says / I Say / And So (attached), paying careful attention to Yep's feelings about the following:
      • the community in which he lived
      • his peers and friendships
      • his language barrier
      • his parent's expectations
    4. Once students have finished their initial reading, they should discuss the statements from the author that they noted and their thinking about those statements (Author Says / I Say) with a partner.  The teacher may determine how students will be paired for task completion. 
    5. Students will then complete the last portion of the chart (And So), inferring and synthesizing ideas based on their reading, their notes, and the discussion with their partner. 
    6. The teacher should then facilitate a whole class discussion in order for students to share their thoughts about Yep's childhood and his efforts to fit in to his culture and community. The teacher may use questions such as these to guide the discussion as needed:
      • From what point of view is "Chinatown" written?
      • What perspective does Yep seem to have on his childhood?
      • According to Yep, why did most Chinese people live in Chinatown even though it covered such a small area? 
      • According to Yep, what sterotype exists about Chinese Americans living in Chinatown?
      • What can you infer about the quality of life in the Chinatown projects?
      • How did Yep struggle with his identity?
    7. For closure and as an assessment of learning, students will write a six word memoir from Yep's perspective that summarizes his childhood and his need to belong. (For more information about six-word memoirs, the International Literacy Association has a list of ideas regarding how to use six-word memoirs in the classroom.)  The teacher will determine the need to provide examples or to modeling as needed. 

    For teacher consideration:  If students are unfamiliar with some of the Tier II words such as entice, vulgar, shunned, gaudy, palatial, and sterotype, they may use an online dictionary (i.e.dictionary.com) or vocabulary web tool (i.e. SnappyWords) in order to explore their meaning and to discuss their use in context.

    Standards

    RI.6.2 Determine a central idea of a text and how it is conveyed through particular details; provide a summary of the text distinct from personal opinions or judgments.

    RI.6.6 Determine an author’s point of view or purpose in a text and explain how it is conveyed in the text.

    L.6.4 Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning words and phrases based on grade 6 reading and content, choosing flexibly from a range of strategies

    L.6.4a Use context (e.g., the overall meaning of a sentence or paragraph; a word’s position or function in a sentence) as a clue to the meaning of a word or phrase.

    1. Read "Chinatown", noting the author's feelings and challenges as he tried to build a sense of belonging.  Complete the first two columns for the chart: The Author Says / I Say / And So (attached).  Pay careful attention to Yep's feelings about the following:
      • the community in which he lived
      • his peers and friendships
      • his language barrier
      • his parent's expectations
    2. Once you have finished reading, discuss the statements from the author that you noted and your thinking about those statements (Author Says / I Say) with a partner.  
    3. Next, complete the last portion of the chart (And So), inferring and synthesizing ideas based on your reading, your notes, and the discussion with your partner. 
    4. For closure, write a six word memoir from Yep's perspective that summarizes his childhood and his need to belong.  

    Note:  If you encounter unfamiliar words as you are reading, you may use an online dictionary (i.e.dictionary.com) or a vocabulary web tool (i.e. SnappyWords) in order to explore their meaning.  Return to the text and consider the author's use of the word in context. 

    Task 2: "Chinatown" from The Lost Garden (Day 2)

    Lesson Procedure

    1. Students will recall reading "Chinatown" from The Lost Garden by Laurence Yep during the previous lesson.  Students will select a word to describe Yep's childhood and post their word choice in a class AnswerGarden (The teacher will create the AnswerGarden: Select one word to describe Yep's childhood, and provide students with the link.)
    2. Students will engage in a whole group discussion regarding the words they posted and will provide textual evidence to support their choices. 
    3. Students will conduct a close reading and discussion of the first and last paragraphs of "Chinatown" with a partner.  Students will use the following questions to guide their reading and discussion:
      • What is similar about the first and last paragraphs?
      • What was the puzzle Yep was trying to solve? What were the puzzle pieces? Was there a resolution to his conflicts?
    4. When students have completed their close reading task they may engage in an online discussion regarding how Yep felt like an outsider as a boy.  An online discussion web tool such as BackchannelChat can be utilized for this purpose. The teacher will create the chat room prior to the lesson. Students will consider using the text-dependent questions below to guide the discussion:
      • In what ways did Yep feel alienated from his own family?
      • How and why did Yep feel alienated from the Chinese community?
      • Explain what Yep means by "invisible barriers"? 
    5. Students will respond in writing to the following prompt: Our essential question is  "In what ways does our need to feel a sense of belonging conflict with our individuality?"  In what ways is the essential question relevant to Laurence Yep's experience as a he describes it in "Chinatown"?

    Standards

    RI.6.2 Determine a central idea of a text and how it is conveyed through particular details; provide a summary of the text distinct from personal opinions or judgments.

    RI.6.6 Determine an author’s point of view or purpose in a text and explain how it is conveyed in the text.

    W.6.4 Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to the task, purpose, and audience. 

     

    1. Recall reading "Chinatown" from The Lost Garden by Laurence Yep during the previous lesson.  Select a word to describe Yep's childhood and post your word choice in a class AnswerGarden.  The teacher will provide the appropriate link. 
    2. Engage in a whole group discussion regarding the words that you and your classmates posted, providing evidence from the text as needed. 
    3. Next, conduct a close reading and discussion of the first and last paragraphs of "Chinatown" with a partner.  Consider using the following questions to guide your reading and discussion:
      • What is similar about the first and last paragraphs?
      • What was the puzzle Yep was trying to solve? What were the puzzle pieces? Was there a resolution to his conflicts?
    4. When you have completed the close reading task you may engage in an online discussion regarding how Yep felt like an outsider as a boy.  The teacher will provide the link to the chat room.  Consider using the questions below to guide the discussion:
      • In what ways did Yep feel alienated from his own family?
      • How and why did Yep feel alienated from the Chinese community?
      • Explain what Yep means by "invisible barriers"? 
    5. Respond in writing to the following prompt: Our essential question is  "In what ways does our need to feel a sense of belonging conflict with our individuality?"  In what ways is the essential question relevant to Laurence Yep's experience as a he describes it in "Chinatown"?  Use textual evidence to support your thinking.